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Tracing the Roots: How Real Green Revolution Can Cure World Hunger
As population continue to grow exponentially, food shortage has become a global concern. People from poor countries suffer from malnutrition due to food scarcity. It is interesting to notice though that most people suffering from hunger come from rural places where, according to society, poverty is prevalent. However, wide stretches of lands sit idly in some rural areas at certain times of the year when they can instead be used to grow food. Environmental issuses such as global warming are also deterrents in food production, but agricultural researches show that food production does not need to suffer. In the article “Can biotech food cure world hunger?,” two groups of people advocating for more food production presented good arguments on how to make it possible: those who support Green Revolution which is pushing for the production of genetically modified crops, and those who are calling for a real and natural green revolution which is mainly based on improving agricultural farming methods to battle low food production due to ecological and climate problems. Although Green Revolution supporters like Paul Collier make a strong point about how food modification can increase crop production, he is ultimately wrong because the production of genetically engineered crops do not necessarily increase food production but brings harm to the environment. Modified natural farming will ultimately be the best solution to battle world hunger and sustain the world’s need for food.
In response to the numerous effects of global warming on agricultural production, Vandana Shiva proposes that ecological security and climate resilience should be intensified to ensure food production in the coming years (2009). Global warming is one major environmental problem that has resulted to either droughts or floods, thereby leading to a decline in food harvests. Green revolution technology and strategies which are mainly focused on engineering crops that can tolerate chemical fertilizers and pesticides will not withstand droughts and floods as well. On the contrary, the industrial system of food production endorsed by green revolution further contribute to climate change. Instead of using pesticides and herbicides on crops, and practicing monoculture farming, the focus should be shifted towards introducing to farmers crops can withstand droughts, floods, and salt. These should be made available to farmers and not be patented and monopolised by big companies.
New farming practices should also be taught and implemented to farmers to increase food productivity without exhausting the environment. Shiva suggested intensifying biodiversity in harmony with nature’s nutrient and water cycles (2009). However, industrial agricultural production today rely heavily on fossil fuels and water overuse (Patel, 2009). With genetically modified crops coming short of its promise to provide the world with food despite its claims of doing otherwise, new farming techniques that will suit the region should be further developed. In a report written by 400 experts titled “Agriculture at a Crossroads,” agroecology method was introduced. This method requires less water in farming, cuts carbon emission, and does not require external inputs (Patel, 2009). Introducing more methods of farming with similar nature will not only increase harvests but will save the environment as well.
Organic farming aims to provide food that the world needs today and in the years to come without harming the environment. However, organic farming today is only able to provide a meager 1% of certified organic nutrients reaches the public and is seem to be monopolised by the wealthy as well (Foley, 2009). This emphasises the need to strengthen support to organic farming in order to provide the world with enough food. Green revolution may promise to feed the world with genetically modified food, but with its production bringing hazards to the environment, this may not be possible in the future. Instead of focusing on higher crop yields that can only address today’s food problems, new methods of farming that will adapt to climate change and scarcity of resources should be given more attention. Studying crops that are resilient to the changing climate and distributing them to farmers will immensely improve food production in a long period of time.
The Editors (2009, October 26). Can biotech food cure world hunger? The New
York Times. Retrieved from