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Geog LORMS Food Problematic GR

Geog LORMS Food Problematic GR

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Published by: acsbr4science1 on Oct 31, 2010
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ACS(BR) Mid-Years 2010Human Geography 2235/2LORMS Topic: FoodQuestion: ‘The Green Revolution has introduced more problems to the environmentand to farmers than it has helped them.’ Discuss this statement.The green revolution has brought about both good and harmful impacts. Theintroduction of chemicals and irrigation systems has various effects to theenvironment and to the farmers.Various negative impacts have been made on the environment due to the poor use of chemicals and irrigation systems. Some examples of these are effects such asSalinisation and Eutrophication. Salinisation refers to the accumulation of salts in theupper layers of soil. When excess water from the poor use of irrigation systems isabsorbed in to the ground to form ground water, some mineral salts in the found in thelower layers of the soil get dissolved and rise up towards the upper layers. This maymake the land more unsuitable for the growth of plants. Also, the excessive use of chemicals and fertilizers through the green revolution may bring aboutEutrophication, which refers to the growing of growth of algae in rivers due tocontamination of rivers. This leads to the loss of lives of aquatic plants. For example,algae grew in Clear Lake of California, resulting in the death of 80% of its marinelife. However, there are also positive impacts such as the High Yield Varieties(HYVs) such as rice crop becoming more resistant to pests, reducing the use of  pesticides.Mechanization and cost of HYVs, machines, chemicals, etc. brought about by thegreen revolution led to negative impacts for farmers. The green revolution resulted inthe use of machines such as harvesters and irrigation systems in order to increasework efficiency and productivity. However, this resulted in unemployment of workersas mechanization reduces the manual labour required for agriculture and onlyeducated workers are able to handle these machines. As such, many of the farmerswould have to go through the difficulty of learning new skills or finding new jobs.Also, the cost and knowledge required for these HYVs, machine, chemicals and moreis very high; hence only very wealthy and educated farmers can afford such methodsrecommended by the Green Revolution. In the long run, the gap between the poor andrich farmers widens. For example,However, the Green Revolution also brought about various benefits to the farmers,such as better quality of food produced, more resistant crops and greater output of food. With the Green Revolution, crops such as rice and wheat have become of better quality in terms of taste, the nutrients it provides, and the time taken to grow thesecrops. For example, the IR58, ‘Wonder Rice’, takes about half the growing time ascompared to normal crops. Also, these new varieties of crop tend to be more resistantto pests, diseases and climate changes, which allows farmers to spend less on pesticides and these crop stand a better chance to survive diseases and droughts, becoming a more stable source of food, and also a source of income if sold to themarket. Furthermore, a greater yield of crops is being produced, allowing countries toalleviate malnourishment and hunger, and may even allow these crops to become a

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