Green Revolution lecture outline 2/23/10 I. Food and the Cold War II. Artificial selection III. Consequences of the Green Revolution IV. Genetically modified organisms The Green Revolution refers to a massive increase in the productivity of staple food plants (wheat, rice and corn) from 1943 to about 1970. It involved four parallel trends: synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural machinery and seed selection. The Green Revolution resulted from two events: developments in plant science (artificial selection) and the corporatization of agriculture. I. Food and the Cold War 1) Drawing on the example of Germany after WWI, U.S. officials thought that food scarcity might lead to political upheavals in Africa, Asia and Latin America. They saw food aid as a means to pacify the people and prevent the spread of Communism. 2) In places like Mexico, China and Cuba, peasants and socialist or communist leaders called for land reform, the redistribution of land from the wealthy to the poor. Increased agricultural productivity was also seen as a way to avoid these demands.
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