Brown, Lester R.
July 1968
Foreign Affairs;Jul1968, Vol. 46 Issue 4, p688
This article comments on the progress of the Green Revolution in Asia, as of July 1968. That the agricultural revolution of the less developed world began in Asia is fortunate, since it is both densely populated and has a rapid rate of population growth. In this respect, Asia is unique among the world's major geographic regions. Western Europe is heavily populated but its population grows slowly; Latin America's population is expanding rapidly but as yet most of the region is sparsely populated. Historically, as Asia's population increased, it was supported by traditional agriculture on an ever-expanding area of cropland. As the postwar population explosion gained momentum in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the supply of new land was used up, but the productivity of land under cultivation increased little. The result was a slowdown in the rate of gain in food production and a growing concern that population growth and food production were on a collision course. As of mid-1968, both the food situation and food production prospects in Asia have changed almost beyond belief. The Philippines is self-sufficient in its staple food, rice, for the first time since 1903. Iran, with a substantial expansion in wheat acreage, is actually a net exporter of wheat this year. Ceylon's rice harvest climbed 13 percent above the previous record, as it both expanded the area under cultivation and raised yields.


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