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Agriculture and the problem of overpopulation in India

The Green Revolution

When the population of a country grows so fast that it cannot produce sufficient food in the long run, it eventually leads to famine. India is such a country that could not succeed in feeding its entire population, for it is overpopulated to the worst degree, while primitive farming methods have caused the country’s crops to be of the lowest in the world. In an effort to align the production of food with the growing population, they have over the past thirty years tried to apply the so-called Green Revolution in India. The Green Revolution is based on the increased productivity of already cultivated land. This is achieved by the application of bigger amount of fertiliser and the cultivation of new crops. Training programmes have been developed to introduce inhabitants in rural areas to new ideas, farming methods and techniques. New wheat, rice and maize varieties were also developed which produced more seed, yielded higher crops, reacted better to the application of fertilisers, and contained more proteïn.

The effective use of fertilisers did not increase only the agricultural production, but also the water capacity of the soil.

Chemical as well as organic fertilisers were applied.

Consequently there was a total increase in the production that was slightly higher than the annual population growth. Several record grain crops were yielded from time to time.

Although the objectives of the Green Revolution were realistic and attainable, several problems regarding their application are still being encountered thirty years later.

The extremely conservative peasant farmers are very traditional in their ways, so that and renewal and change are met with scepticism and bias.

Most peasant farmers are still illiterate.

The peasant farmers are poor and cannot afford farming implements, insecticides, pesticides and fertiliser.

The Green Revolution is an expensive programme and there is a lack of capital for meeting the costs. The country increasingly relies on loans from abroad to pay for their programmes.

The only way to make the Green Revolution succeed, is to ensure that a balance is maintained between the growing population and the production of food. The population growth needs to be carefully controlled and planned.

Sources

Swanevelder, C.J. e.a. Senior Geography Grade 8 , Cape Town, 1996

Ganguly, S. From the Bengal Famine to the Green Revolution , Internet (Google.com)

Rosset, P. e.a. Lessons from the Green Revolution , Internet (Google.com)

Activity 3:

To establish if famine can be avoided by applying technological development

[lo 2.2]

Do we need technology to beat famine?

Study the following notes and use them as a basis to answer the above question in your own words.

yes:

There is no doubt that genetically manipulated seed yields higher crops. The Green Revolution has made a difference – experience and statistics have proved this.

It is therefore a tried and tested way to produce larger amounts of food over a short period.

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Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Source:  OpenStax, Geography grade 9. OpenStax CNX. Sep 14, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11057/1.1
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