The Green Revolution in Asia


World Issues
May 27, 1996
Table of Contents

Topic Page

The Problem ................................................3

The Solution................................................3
Background to The Green Revolution .........................3
Positives of The Green Revolution ..........................3
Problems With The Green Revolution .........................4
The Green Revolution in Asia ...............................5
Rice .......................................................5
Rice Pests and Solutions....................................5
China.......................................................6
Viet Nam Reclamation Projects ..............................8
India.......................................................9
Other Facts ................................................9
Conclusion..................................................10
Map of China................................................11
Map of India ...............................................12
Figure #1: The Rice Plant...................................13
Figure #2: A Field in the Philippines ......................14
Figure #3: Deepwater Rice in Thailand ......................15
Figure P0: Effects of Hoppers ..............................16
Figure P1: Habitat of Brown Hopper .........................17
Figure P2: Wolf Spider......................................18
Figure P3: Black Bug .......................................19
Figure #4: Irrigated Rice Harvesting .......................20
Chart #1: Rice Production...................................21
Chart #2: Fertilizer Use in 1993 ...........................22
Bibliography ...............................................23

The Problem: With the high and rapidly growing population of
Asia, many people go hungry. How can the world support these
people?; and, how can these people feed themselves? What cost
will this have on the environment? What is being done to help
these people.

The Solution: The Green Revolution is a solution that has
been at work since the 1960\'s. It has been developing new and
better ways at producing food.

Background to the Green Revolution: The Green Revolution
Started in the 1960\'s by the government of the United States.
The Green Revolution was started to make wheat more
adaptable to different environments. The grain was genetically
engineered to grow with a shorter stock (to stop damage from
wind) and the ability to grow faster so colder climates could be
sure that the crop was fully grown by the cold season. Warmer
climates could take advantage of these faster growing varieties
by having more than one or two harvests a season. The
developing countries produced a lot of waste through their
cultivation techniques. They used high amounts of labor that
produced waste so the developed world had machinery that they
sent to the underdeveloped to stop the waste.
The production of new wheat varieties has led to the green
revolution spreading to Asia and the production of new rice
varieties.

Positives of the Green Revolution: Since the Green
Revolution has started there have been nearly 5000 new crop
strains developed. Seeds for crops such as wheat, rice, corn, and
cotton have been upgraded four to six times. Farmers have saw a
50 to 130 percent rise in yield. Wheat production is about 50
times that during the 1950\'s.
The population of the world is rising rapidly and this may
be the only way for the earth to feed ourselves.

Problems With the Green Revolution: Problems that have
occurred are that the people that need the machinery cannot
afford to buy clothes let alone pay for huge machines that have
to be shipped in from developed countries and the shipping must
be paid for. Even if the farmers could afford the machinery, they
would have to be taught how to use it properly. Finding fuel, and
the money to buy the fuel, in the middle of Africa, for instance,
is impossible.
The developed world produced the new wheat and rice
varieties. To genetically engineer a new strain of food, a
company or government must pay scientists (including
agronomists, geneticists, biologists, chemists, nuclear
scientists, space-flight scientists), fund experiments,
laboratory space, and materials (to just name a few). The costs
are very high so the developing world would need to pay a fair
price for these new varieties. The money that the countries need
to pay for the seeds and machinery is borrowed from other
countries. This borrowing does not help the developing countries
but puts them, in most cases, into a deeper financial crisis.
The environment also pays the price for the revolution.
The new plant varieties use a lot of minerals from the ground
and the soil that they grow in is being abused. The soil loses
much of its minerals so a way had to be found to replace them.
Fertilizers, natural and chemical, have to be used in high
quantities to produce the special varieties. The chemicals seep
down into the groundwater and pollute the water to the point that
it is no longer potable. Many rivers and lakes such as the Huang
He River (refer to map of China) and the Ganges River (refer to
map of India) have seen the effects of this problem in the late
1960\'s when fish and waterfowl began dying unexpectedly.
Another problem with the Green Revolution was that the
new varieties, or modern cultivars, had started to make the
original varieties that farmers had used for hundreds of years
disappear. The amount of different types of seeds started to
rapidly disappear.
The modern cultivars have a major flaw. The flaw is that
the varieties are insect repelling. The rice\'s ability to fend
off insects