Question Steve Business & Management

The Green Revolution

What are the major inventions of the green revolution?

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Answer Internal Staff

The Green Revolution’s success is often attributed to Norman Borland, an American scientist with a keen interest in agriculture. In the early 1940’s he was researching in Mexico and created a disease resistance high yield crop of wheat. This was combined with new mechanical agricultural technologies and Mexico was able to start producing excess wheat than was required to feed its own citizens, for the first time in its history and by the 1960’s has become an exported of wheat.

Due to the success of this technology, the Green Revolution started to spread globally. The US for example had been importing approximately half of its wheat during the 1940’s but became an exporter in the 1960’s in similar fashion to Mexico.

One advancement in plant technologies following the Revolution was that of the harvest index, this refers to the above ground weight of the crop. During the Revolution, plants that had the largest seeds were used to create the most production possible. Following this process of selective breeding larger seeds became dominate the more grain could be cultivated with each crop.

The large above ground crops then lead to an increase in photosynthate allocation for the crop itself. By maximising the seed of the plant, the crops were able to photosynthesise more efficiently as the energy they produced could be directly fed back to the food portion of the plant.

On a global scale, the newly developed crops were no longer sensitive to day length, this meant that they no longer had to be situated in certain countries around the globe that gave them the required level of sunlight but could be produced almost anywhere. This led to a rapid increase in crop growth across Europe as well as the Americas.