Wharton Jr., Clifton R.
April 1969
Foreign Affairs;Apr1969, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p464
This article analyzes the concept of Green Revolution in developing countries and its impact on agriculture. The application of science and technology to traditional agriculture has begun to produce dramatic results, above all in Asia. The rapid expansion of certain food grains in the developing world is being particularly widely heralded and justly so, as the Green Revolution. Others see this development as opening a Pandora's box. Its very success will produce a number of new problems which are far more subtle and difficult than those faced during the development of the new technology. The Green Revolution offers an unparalleled opportunity to break the chains of rural poverty in important parts of the world. Success will depend upon how well the opportunity is handled and upon how alert we are to the inherent consequences. The reasons for believing that the new technology will not in fact spread nearly as widely or as rapidly as supposed and predicted include, first, the fact that the availability of irrigated land imposes at least a short-run limit to the spread of the new high-yield varieties. Most of these require irrigation and careful water control throughout the growing cycle.


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