The Green revolution is also known as the Third Agricultural Revolution, which began in
1965 and involved the use of several technologies in agriculture to improve the yield (Harwood,
2019)). There are several characteristics associated with the Revolution, which helped in shaping
agricultural practices in India. One of the main features is the introduction of new and high
yielding seed varieties that would help ensure more food generation for India's country.
Secondly, the Revolution aided in increasing the use of pesticides and weedicides to reduce
agricultural losses and preserve the nutritional aspect of the food grown. Thirdly, the Revolution
led to an increase in the use of fertilizers in the farming process, which helped increase the
plants' productivity and output (Singha, 2017)). The fourth characteristic involves using disease-
resistant seeds and crops, which would continue to grow and produce food despite the harsh
climate. Lastly, this era involved the use of the latest agricultural machinery in the food
production process. Some of the machinery used included harvesters, tractors, threshers, and
seed drills. The techniques developed during this period were instigated by the perception that
the country needed food production strategies that would sustain the large group of people
irrespective of weather changes.
Benefits of the Green Revolution
There are several advantages associated with the Green Revolution. First of all, using
these techniques allowed the agricultural sector to produce more massive amounts of food than
when using traditional methods. The use of the machinery was essential in reducing the amount
of time farmers took to plant, harvest, and till the land in between the seasons, while the
fertilizers helped ensure that the plants produced more (Singha, 2017). Additionally, the
strategies employed made it possible to prevent the loss of productivity due to frequent pest
invasions. The second advantage of the Green Revolution is that it led to reduced food prices,
GREEN REVOLUTION AND FOOD SECURITY 3
which meant that even the lower-class economy individuals could afford to acquire the food they
need. Since the agricultural markets are run based on demand and supply, when the agricultural
fields' yields are more consistent, then the supply is more available. With an increased amount,
there is less demand for food, making it more accessible to consumers. In turn, this causes the
farmers and sellers to lower their prices when in the market place.
Thirdly, the techniques used helped in hastening the natural evolutionary process for
plant resistance. The seeds and plants developed in this era were created to have a higher
resistance to genetic disease than earlier ones. As a result, there was greater access to healthier
food and plentiful choices since the farmers no longer needed to depend on the appropriate
climate to plant the crops. It also ensured that the crops would be available all-year-round. The
fourth benefit if the Green Revolution is that it allowed the agricultural sector to grow plants
anywhere on the planet, especially in areas where the climate and soils do not provide favorable
conditions for plant growth.
The Green Revolution resulted in the croplands producing multiple harvests every year.
The practices established during the Revolution helped in ensuring that the farms could produce
four to five harvest periods depending on the plant. With increased harvest, people would have
access to more food at lower prices since they would not need to hoard the produce out of fear of
not having enough of a certain kind of vegetable and fruit (Davis et al., 2019). The tactics also
ensured that even if the growing season started later than usual, the crops would still yield
substantial food for the farmer. The sixth benefit involves reducing regular fallowing, as was
required with the traditional farming methods. It also encouraged the use of the chemical agents
and fertilizers to increase the crops' productivity without the need for continual rotation.
Therefore, the farmers can choose to plant on the entire farm, ensuring higher crop yield.
GREEN REVOLUTION AND FOOD SECURITY 4
The seventh benefit of the Revolution is that it helped reduce the poverty levels wherever
it was practiced. With the substantial increase in food production, the countries practicing these
agricultural techniques were able to ensure that a more significant portion of the population
could access healthy food. Additionally, it helped increase the export market value, which helped
inject more money into the economy and helped people get jobs while earning an income (Davis
et al., 2019). Lastly, better agricultural practices support the flourishing of other sectors in the
economy. Since having ample supply to food is crucial for productivity in any job, having
adequate food supply for everyone in the country ensures that people have the energy to work
and be productive in the various industries, especially those dependent on physical labor.
Harms of the Green Revolution
Despite the benefits and technological advances associated with the Green Revolution,
some disadvantages are linked to the process. One of the harms caused by these agricultural
techniques is that it led to the overdependence on a particular type of crops, which can be wiped
out should a devastating disease occur that directly affects that specific plant. The farmers
choose to depend on the same plants year-in and year-out to ensure that they maintain their profit
margins, which places them in a vulnerable position if a disease attacks that species
(Swaminathan, 2017). Secondly, the Green Revolution techniques' constant use created a lack of
biodiversity in the cropland structures. Since the plants are being continually exposed to
pesticides, they also tend to be more susceptible to pathogens that cannot be controlled using the
chemicals already on the market. As a result, the plants continue to lose their genetic traits due to
the continuous altering process carried out to make them more resistant to harsh climates. The
farmers no longer focus on panting the tastier and more nutritious brands because their main
focus is to ensure high yields and better profit margins.
GREEN REVOLUTION AND FOOD SECURITY 5
Thirdly, the repetitive growth of the same crops on the same land tends to lead to the
depletion of essential nutrients in the soil. The more the ground loses these nutrients, the farmers
are compelled to use more chemicals that can be harmful to the crops or move to other sections
that can support their production. In looking for more land, the farmers tend to practice
deforestation since the already used areas cannot support the changing agricultural biome caused
by the constant use of the farm and chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. The fourth
disadvantage is that the use of these agricultural tactics leads to devastating health impacts. The
chemicals used on the plants can get into the human system by using consumption or exposure
when spraying the chemicals on the farm. Some of the diseases associated with these practices
include leukemia, lymphoma, as well as breast and ovarian cancers.
The increased wastage and loss of food is the fifth harm caused by the Green Revolution.
As food production increased substantially, the people did not have the necessary infrastructure
and equipment need to preserve their harvest before transportation. As a result, more farmers lost
food during the post-harvest phase (Singha, 2017). Additionally, with the reduction in prices, the
customers would but an excessive amount of food and throw it out when not consumed in time.
Another disadvantage is that due to the increased use of herbicides and pesticides on the plants,
the pests are continually adapting to the chemical agents. In time, they will be resistant to their
effects. Their resistance will require the development of extremely harmful chemicals to help
farmers deal with them.
The seventh disadvantage is that the Green Revolution advocated and pioneered the
practice of mono-cropping. This refers to growing the same crop on the same land, which is
contrary to the traditional method of cultivation and land rotation. Mono-cropping has several
problems associated with it in that it leads to the depletion of soil nutrients, deforestation, and the
GREEN REVOLUTION AND FOOD SECURITY 6
seepage of pesticides into the surrounding soil. The eighth disadvantage is that the success of the
Green Revolution practices is heavily dependent on fertilizer subsidies. These subsidies tend to
cost the government a lot of money, which could have been used to help other sectors, such as
infrastructure. Additionally, the subsidies lead to the creation of wastelands, especially in
instances where the proper authorities do not regulate the use of the fertilizers.
The ninth disadvantage is that the practice leads to inequality since the more substantial
farmers are more likely to be favored for the government subsidies, due to their high yielding
ability and the possibility of greater profits, once they sell their produce (Davis et al., 2019). On
the other hand, the smaller farmers face discrimination and cannot access the financing they need
to make their farms productive. Lastly, the Green Revolution strategies' continuous use means
that new technologies will always be a requirement in creating new seeds. Since the development
process is an expensive endeavor, it can only be accomplished by large farming companies.
Therefore, the profits yielded from these practices ultimately end up in the big companies'
pockets, instead of the smaller farmers who are putting in all the work.
Strategies to Improve Food Security
As defined by the United Nations' Committee, food security refers to the notion that "all
people, at all times, have social, economic and physical access to nutritious, sufficient and safe
food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy and active life." There are
several challenges that the word is currently facing when it comes to achieving the goal of food
security (Conway, 2019)). Some of the challenges include the increasing population, increasing
soil erosion, climate change, slowing irrigation, and flattening yields. Therefore, several
strategies must be put in place to help in dealing with the challenges.
GREEN REVOLUTION AND FOOD SECURITY 7
The first strategy is the reduction of food waste. Statistics show that the amount of food
wasted in the United States, China, and India would be enough to feed approximately 413
million people in the same year. It is up to the policymakers in these countries to ensure that
rules can help prevent such waste, while other people in the same region go hungry or face
malnutrition (Prosekov & Ivanova, 2018). Additionally, it would be beneficial to involve the big
companies who process and sell food such as restaurants in the policy-making process, because it
would help ensure that they are more cautious in their food preservation tactics. Another
strategy involves the raising of low water productivity. This involves improving the irrigation
systems' efficiency while also planting crops that require minimal amounts of water to survive.
This is not a simple strategy to implement since farmers are more likely to plant crops that give
them higher profits, regardless of how much water they need to grow. However, the government
can intervene by offering economic incentives to the farmers who choose to plant crops that
require less water instead of farmers that grow crops such as rice and sugarcane.
The third strategy involves the efficient use of fertilizers. It is important to regulate the
kind of chemicals used in the creation of fertilizers. Additionally, farmers should receive
constant training on the best way to use fertilizers regarding the types, timing, and placement of
the products. Learning the right way to do all these things reduces the likelihood that the soil gets
contaminated and exploited by harmful chemicals present in pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers
(Davis et al., 2019). The fourth strategy involves crop diversification, which gives the farmers a
wider choice in the product variety of crops in a particular area. It helps lessen the risk of crop
loss and aids in ensuring that people have access to more food choices. Food choices are crucial
in the 21 st Century since the population suffers from more allergies and food preferences than
GREEN REVOLUTION AND FOOD SECURITY 8
Food is a crucial part of human existence. Therefore, it is important that with the
continuous changes in climate, food security should be a priority for the government and the
people as well. The Green Revolution played an important role in creating techniques that have
helped the world cope with food security challenges. However, as technology progresses, there is
an increasing need to better the protocols, strategies, and techniques implemented in the 1950s to
suit the needs and preferences of the 21 st Century.
Conway, G. (2019). The doubly Green Revolution: Food for all in the twenty-first Century.
Cornell University Press.
Davis, K. F., Chhatre, A., Rao, N. D., Singh, D., Ghosh-Jerath, S., Mridul, A., … & DeFries, R.
(2019). Assessing the sustainability of post-Green Revolution cereals in
India. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(50), 25034-25041.
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Harwood, J. (2019). Was the Green Revolution intended to maximize food production?.
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 17(4), 312-325.
Prosekov, A. Y., & Ivanova, S. A. (2018). Food security: The challenge of the
present. Geoforum, 91, 73-77.
Singha, S. (2017). THE GREEN REVOLUTION TECHNOLOGY AND ITS IMPACT IN THE
SOCIO-ECONOMIC LIFE OF INDIA. AU-eJournal of Interdisciplinary Research
(ISSN: 2408-1906), 2(1).
Swaminathan, M. S. (2017). 50 Years of Green Revolution: An Anthology of Research
Papers (Vol. 1). World Scientific Publishing Company.