New study probes highs and lows of Green Revolution
The study confirms that the Green Revolution — which in the 1960s and 1970s saw the widespread introduction of high-yielding crop varieties — increased global food production, leading to a decline in food prices and an increase in people's average calorific intake.
But it also suggests that some farmers, who did not benefit from the increased yields — though nonetheless experienced decreasing prices for their harvests — suffered actual losses of income.
The study — initiated by the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (GGIAR), which supports a global network of agricultural research centres — gives a "nuanced view" of internationally funded research, according to a R E Evenson and D Gollin of Yale University, United States.
Writing in this week's journal Science, they note that the benefits of the Green Revolution were "uneven across crops and regions". Farmers in less favourable farming regions, such as sub-Saharan African, fared particularly badly, they say.
"But it is unclear what alternative scenario would have allowed developing countries to meet, with lower environmental impact, the human needs posed by the massive population expansion of the 20th century," they write.
Link to Science article
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