Term Paper, 2016
19 Pages, Grade: 2.7
Hypothesis and Research question
Sources and Methodology
What is Green Revolution (GR)?
Green Revolution in South Asia
Green Revolution in Bangladesh
Population Growth and Green Revolution in Bangladesh
Labor Absorption and Impact on Green Revolution
Land Use Pattern in Green Revolution
Green Revolution and Food Security in Bangladesh
Green Revolution and Nutrition in Bangladesh
Green Revolution and Income Distribution in Bangladesh
Green Revolution and Rural Poverty in Bangladesh
Consequences of Green Revolution: Overall Perspective
Green Revolution and Crops Diversity in Bangladesh
Krishna Kumar Saha
Faculty Member of Public Administration, Comilla University, Bangladesh; and Research Assistant of South Asia Institute (SAI), The University of Heidelberg, Germany
Bangladesh has made a remarkable success in the agricultural production sector. Without the mechanization, using High Yielding Verities (HYV), and so-called ‘Green Revolution’ it would have never been possible to maintain the growth and development of the agricultural sector of this country. In addition, it is the key to maintaining the national food-population balance. This current paper attempts to investigate the consequences of ‘Green Revolution’ on crops diversity in Bangladesh. This paper attempts to show the pattern of changes took place in different sectors of Bangladesh. It includes population growth, labor absorption, and land-use in agriculture, food security, nutrition, income distribution, rural poverty, and policy. Most of them are upwards sloping growth but the crops diversity in agriculture is decreasing in Bangladesh. That is the main reason for making the agriculture more vulnerable to unsustainability.
Keywords: Green Revolution; Bangladesh; Agricultural Diversity; Crops Variety; Food Security
According to the World Bank Data in 2014, this country has 159 million population and in a small area of 147579 square meters. There is still 31.5% of total population is living under the poverty line. On the contrary, this country has maintained 6+% of GDP growth rate since the 1990s and now the national per capita income of Bangladesh is $1080 (World Bank , 2014).
In the year of 2011-12 there were 37261 thousand acres of gross cropped area and it increased only 400 thousand acres by 2014-15. Here there are two important points to notice. The first one is the amount of land is really small to feed the 160 million people (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), 2016). In addition, there is almost no change in gross cropped area for four years. Hence, with this small area of land, feeding this huge number of population is always being the top most contests for any government of any time in Bangladesh.
In this current paper, there will be an attempt to systematically explain the background of Green Revolution from different regional perspective. Afterward, focusing on crops diversity, there will be an attempt to explain the impact of Green Revolution on population growth, labor absorption and land use including consequences on food security, nutrition status, income distribution, and rural poverty. Finally, some policy implications and the conclusion will be provided at the final parts of the paper.
The hypothesis of my study is the introduction of modern technology and high yielding verities in agriculture of Bangladesh has decreased the crops diversity in Bangladesh. In addition, it includes the impact on population growth, food security, nutrition status, income distribution, rural poverty and much more. The major research question of this study tries to answer is- does Green Revolution has decreased the crops diversity in agriculture of Bangladesh?
The study has tried to accumulate data from primary sources and secondary sources. In addition, the literature from journal articles, census data from the Government of Bangladesh, News Papers of Bangladesh, National and International Reports on Green Revolution and food security have been used. This study is mainly based on a desk review, including an examination of official records and documents, and the key literature; and personal observations and insights.
The Green Revolution is the term coined in the 1960s to cover the consequences of HYV, chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides and controlled cultivation and irrigation methods (Farmer, 1991). The first success in GR was in 1925 the ‘Norin 10’ semi Dwarf Wheat (McNeill, 2000). It was an American and Japanese cross breed developed in Japan. After a long period of research time finally in 1935 that was distributed among the farmers of Japan. However, the GR is a large increase in crop production in developing countries achieved by the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and high-yield crop varieties (White, 2007, p.-03). Some others say that it is a technical and managerial package from the first world to the third world during the 1940s (McNeill, 2000). Some others also say that it is the child of the ‘Cold War ’ (Burmeister, 1990) (Douglas & Douglas, 1993).
On the other hand, Henry Wallace was the first farmer from the USA who started commercialization of the hybrid crops during 1920. Norman Borlaug and his team did a lot of research on hybrid crops and he became the father of Mexican Green Revolution. After the success of Borlaug, the Mexican Green Revolution was spreader all over the world. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Money from Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation played a vital role in this event (Lupton, 1987).
According to B. H. Farmer, ‘the Green Revolution has generally brought the most benefit to wealthier farmers though some poorer farmers and even laborers have also derived some benefit’ (Farmer, 1981). The gross production of food-grains increased by some 62% from 1950-1951 to 1964-1965 in India. The picture is similar to the case of Pakistan. At the same time period, the production of food grains increased by some 59%. In Sri Lanka, Green Revolution has got success but the development is still going on. Everywhere, it is evident that the agro farmers became dependent HYV (rice, wheat, and maize) which push the indigenous verities from the market.
There was local rice production and the production was slower in pre-Green Revolution days in Bangladesh. In addition, the rice production falls in the 1970s because of cyclone and independence from Pakistan. This upward trend of food production was before Green Revolution but at a slower rate. It potentially increased the yields from the late 1960s after the introduction of dwarf HYV wheat from Mexico and HYV rice from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) from the Philippines.
The 45.6% of its total labor force is dependent on agriculture (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 2016). In addition, this sector contributes 17.22% in the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the country. In this region Bangladesh (former East Pakistan) the former colony of West Pakistan now Pakistan introduced Green Revolution during the 1960s (Naher, 1997). Nevertheless, later half of the 1970s to 1980s the area of irrigated land by modern means of increased from 5% of the cultivated area (about 0.9 million acres) to about 16% of the cropped area (more than 5 million acres) (Naher, 1997). The use of chemical fertilizers increased from 0 to 100 kg 2.5 cropped acre. The high yielding verities (HYV) by IRRI and Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) reached over 20% of total area of food grains. From the 1950s to 1970 the food grains production reached from 8 million to 13 million tons.
During 2008-09, there were 27872 thousand acres of land were under rice production and among them 20190 thousand acres of land were under HYV which is 58% of total production of rice. About wheat, almost all the cultivated is under HYV and that is 975 thousand acres in 2008-09. In addition, during 2009-10, there were 1074 thousand acres of land were cultivated for potato and among the cultivated land 83% were under the HYV (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 2011). Here the data shows how the HYV are taking the place of indigenous verities of crops in Bangladesh. In addition, Bangladesh has 3768 million acres of land (The World Bank, 2013) under cereal production and is still not sufficient for feeding the huge population.
During the 1960s, modern technology and fertilizers were not so popular. With the help of the Bangladesh Water Development Board, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA) modern agriculture has been revolutionized. With the help of different government institutions and NGOs, the GR in Bangladesh made a success story and it is approaching fast (Naher, 1997).
A contrasting view, which has only recently been appreciated, is that the new technology may benefit the poor in the long run by (1) reducing the cost of production and thereby lowering the prices of food, and (2) generating more employment in nonfarm sectors by keeping real wages low and stimulating demand for nonfarm goods and services (Hossain M., 1988).
There are different causes, which contributed to the population growth of Bangladesh. One of the causes is an increase in life expectancy. The following table shows the life expectancy in Bangladesh. The increase in the life expectancy rate is closely related to the higher agricultural yield induced improvement in income level and subsequent nutritional intake. In 1990-92, there was the 33.9% prevalence of undernourishment in Bangladesh and it became 16.3% in 2011-2013 (World Health Organization, 2014). It happened only when we see the life expectancy increase from 47.02 years in 1960 to 70.30 years in 2012.
Table 1: Life Expectancy in Bangladesh (Years)
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Source: World Health Organization, 2016
Green Revolution marginalized the small firms by turning them into smaller units. Over the generations due to the inheritance law firms in Bangladesh are getting more fragmented. The following table shows the status of the firms in Bangladesh. Comparing the numbers it can be seen the large firms are relatively few compared to small and medium sized firms. In the following table, among the 15 million firms there are only 0.23 million firms are large firms. That ensures the labor intensive agriculture economy of Bangladesh. And that is making impossible for large-scale agricultural production. As it has already been discussed that small firms are mostly labor dependent firms. And most of the cases they have substituted the technologies with the human labor.
Table 2: Number of Agricultural Firms in Bangladesh, 2008
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Source: Bangladesh Agriculture Census, 2008 BBS
More than 49% of the total employed workforce in Bangladesh are in agriculture. The unemployment and underemployment exceed more than 30% in this sector. The total workforce in the agriculture is decreasing still it is the largest employer of the civilian workforce in Bangladesh. From the following table, it can be seen that in 1999-00 there was 62.1 percent of the total workforce were employed in directly or indirectly in Agricultural sector. In 2010, this percentage became 47.5%. Alauddin and Tisdell, 1991 proved that the Green Revolution in Bangladesh leads to the increase of labor use in agriculture annually. During RABI season of agriculture production labor demand increases significantly. There are some examples of declining of labor demand in different seasons. And they have different consequences. There is a relation between labor force absorption and cropping pattern that includes agricultural technology, irrigation, HYV, etc. In addition, multiple cropping has also contributed to the labor demand too. The tendency to HYV cultivation increased the possibility of decreasing the diversity of food crops production.
Table 3: Percentage of Labor Force Employment in Bangladesh
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Source: Labour Force Survey, 1995-96, 1999-00, 2002-03, 2005-06 & 2010 BBS
A paper by Kurosaki, 2007 shows that the crop shift is important for improving aggregate land productivity. Here it also shows the increase in output during pre-Green Revolution period and post Green Revolution. During pre-Green Revolution, the change has bellowed the average but due to the shift in crops and introduction of agricultural technologies, there was the significant change in numbers of agricultural production. The crop shifting is improving the aggregate land productivity.
 It is a kind of strains that can hold up a heavy, grain-packed head without bending or breaking the plant stalk.
 The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc and powers in the Eastern Bloc. Historians do not fully agree on the dates, but 1947–91 is common.
 Wallace (1888-1965) was a farmer, publisher of an agricultural journal and son of Warren Harding’s Secretary of Agriculture. Wallace became FERS Vice-President in 1941, but was replaced by Truman four years later. He fell out with Truman, partly over foreign policy, and subsequently ran for the Presidency several times as leader of the Progressive Party.
 Norman Ernest Borlaug (March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009) was an American biologist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who have been called "the father of the Green Revolution", "agriculture's greatest spokesperson" and "The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives". He is one of seven people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal and was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honor.
 This is considered as the agricultural production system of different developing countries before 1960s
 High-yielding varieties (HYVs)-also known as modem varieties (MVs)-of wheat and rice and other food grains. High-yielding varieties refers to yield potential, not necessarily to output but also the growth habit.
 Life expectancy refers to the number of years a person is expected to live base on the statistical average. Life expectancy varies by geographical area and by era
 The term ‘rabi’ is derived from the Arabic word for "spring", which is used in the Indian subcontinent, where it is the spring harvest (also known as the "winter crop"). The rabi crops are sown around mid-November, after the monsoon rains are over, and harvesting begins in April/May.
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