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How Green Revolution Played Havoc With Mexican Agriculture

By Devinder Sharma

12 August, 2010
Ground Reality

Mexico is the land of origin of the Green Revolution. It is here that the so called miracle seeds of dwarf wheat were first evolved. Norman Borlaug's wheat magic did cast a spell in far away India, which spread like a wild fire across the developing world. It literally sowed the seeds of what was later dubbed as the Green Revolution.

While the 2nd generation-environmental impacts of Green Revolution have played havoc with the natural resource base across continents, the destruction of the farm lands, and the plight of the dying farmers, is being hastily buried under the aggressive launch of the Second Green Revolution. To avoid the finger of suspicion pointing towards them, the international scientific community in collaboration with the agribusiness industry and the policy makers, are in a desperate hurry to create a smokescreen that hides the great tragedy.

Four decades after Green Revolution was launched, the world is still to come to grips with the devastation it wrought to the farm lands -- the fertile and verdant lands gasping for breath; chemical pesticides not only disrupting the insect equilibrium, but resulting in more savage pest attack besides contaminating the food chain; and the relentless mining of groundwater drying up the hemisphere. Intensive agriculture has already brought the world to a boiling point.

Added to the destruction of farm lands, the growing emphasis on corporatisation of agriculture which includes futures trading, free trade in agriculture and the strengthening of big box food retail has already brought the food chain into the hands of a few food giants/agribusiness companies. Farming communities wordwide have been marginalised in the process, and I am sure the day is not far away when farmers will disappear from the face of the Earth.

The extinction of the farm communities is actually a process that began more or less with the advent of Green Revolution. Those who promoted Green Revolution, it is now becoming clear, were not aware of the hidden design. The complete take over of agricultural research and education across the globe by the US land grant system came in handy to programme the scientific mindset. The USAID has to be admired the way it helped change the scientific brains to the virtues of the intensive farming systems as the only way forward.

Anyway, I came across this interesting insight into Mexican agriculture, which I feel I must draw your attention to. Jill Richardson, author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What Can we do it to Fix it, travelled to 'see the Green Revolution first hand'. Here is her report.

The US Ploy to Promote Genetically Engineered Seeds and Pesticides to Poor Mexican Farmers Is Impoverishing Their Communities.
By Jill Richardson