Most farmers, these days, practice modern farming methods under Green Revolution, which is a movement pushed by the government as an alternative solution to traditional agriculture. Its main goal is to make planting and harvesting more effective and efficient, as well as to eliminate hunger all over the world. It originated from manufacturers in the US when they discovered that it is possible to create a fertilizer from petroleum that can be used on crops—the so-called petrochemical fertilizer.
Under Green Revolution, machinery processes are being used in farming. This modern method is seen as labor intensive, where farmers make use of tractors, instead of oxen and horses, to plow and cultivate their lands, making the process faster and easier. It is a combination of controlling chemicals in the soil, weeds and pests, mechanization of agriculture, and genetic adaptation of plants to suit daily needs.
However, this method has become a subject of some debates on whether it really does good, rather than bad, for all of us. So, let us take a look at some of the pros and cons of Green Revolution to have a clear overview of the matter.
List of Pros of Green Revolution
1. Agricultural Operations of a Massive Scale.
Green Revolution has brought agriculture to a massive scale. By looking at the world before this modern method, we can see that crops that were grown on a massive scale are only those that require extensive manual intervention to grow healthy. This means that managing massive scale farms was not that easy. Thanks to Green Revolution, we have identified more ways to make things easier. Most crops, these days, are grown on an industrial scale even by smaller farming communities.
2. Plants Have Become Resistant to Pests and Herbicides.
Perhaps the greatest gift Green Revolution has given to us is the ability to give crops resistance to pests and herbicides. In the past, developing economies, which were still adapting to technology and did not have very high literacy rates, struggled with farming. Now that Green Revolution is here, this has changed, not only leading to more produce, but also making it healthier.
3. The Need to Fallow Lands Is Eliminated.
This modern method of farming has allowed farmers to re-plant the same crops without fallowing their lands, which is another significant achievement of the inculcation of technology and knowledge in agriculture. Take note that fallowing used to be costly for farmers. Though there are some crops that still need fallowing, making crops for more profits has been made cost-efficient with Green Revolution.
4. Automation in the Process of Farming.
With automation, Green Revolution has made farming more predictable. It is important to note that there is more dependence on resources that are under human control than nature and other external factors. Now, when it comes to studying seeds and soil health, this modern method has given us the convenience to do most of such tricky work in the boardroom, rather than running year-long trials and then failing with massive losses to farmers.
5. Ability to Grow Any Crop Virtually Anywhere.
Yes, Green Revolution has made it possible for agriculture to be done almost everywhere. Of course, you still cannot grow potatoes on a plateau or paddy on a beach, but you can use most types of land or terrain to grow crops with this method. Thus, farmers do not have to be at the most fertile river banks to be able to start farming. Agriculture has definitely become more doable everywhere.
6. More Profitable Farming Industry.
Truth be told, farmers around the world were mostly poor, unless their families had large tracts of land and numerous farms that grow multiple crops. With Green Revolution, there are richer farmers today.
List of Cons of Green Revolution
Among the most prominent shortcomings of Green Evolution is mono-culturing. This practice demands large tracts of land, which are not always available, large volumes of water and intensive amounts of fertilizers. These needs poses difficulties for farmers around the world.
2. Probability of Weeds and Pests to Develop Hazards.
Green Revolution is speculated to develop poisonous and super weeds and pests that are difficult to control. There is also the concern of cross pollination from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to other plants in the environment, which could result in invasive species.
3. Compromise to Crop Health.
There have been some cases with this modern farming method, where unknown ailments have plagued the health of various crop species. It is always thought of that some new breeds of weed and pests can develop, and they may resist pesticides that are used right now.
4. Sterile Seeds.
In most cases, GMOs will generate sterile seeds every year.
5. Varied Soil Type by Location.
Green Revolution does not take into consideration the type of soil or its suitability for certain types of crop; it just considers the land area and does what is needed for the cultivation of crops each year. The following year requires fresh procurement of seeds, but nothing is done to ensure that the fertility of the soil is retained or replenished.
6. High Cost.
The price of the industrial farming and its equipment under Green Revolution may not be affordable for small farmers.
7. Shortage of Supply.
There is a sterner focus on cash crops with this modern method, and innumerable farmers are trying to grow them, which is leading to a shortage of staple food crops.
8. Environmental Harm.
All the equipment used in Green Revolution requires burning of fossil fuels that contributes to pollution and global warming. Also, if you make use of petrochemical fertilizers, it requires fossil fuels that tend to be patently and unsustainable.
Green Revolution’s primary goal is to eliminate hunger worldwide, but there are still people who are suffering from starvation, where most of them are women and children. So, it is very important to have a clear and better understanding when it comes to resolving such a problem. In order to eliminate it, more food must be produced. According to research, there is enough food supply to feed everyone, and the government is exerting full effort to sustain such need. Traditional farming is still used, especially among small farmers, who cannot afford Green Revolution. So, what do you think?
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer and banker. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.