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Effects of the ‘Green Revolution’ in South and South-East Asia

  • Erich H. Jacoby (a1)

The increasing use of the new high-yielding varieties of cereal seeds during the past decade has undoubtedly brought about immense agricultural and social progress in the developed world. Contrary to all expectations, however, the application of these technological innovations, commonly known today as the ‘green revolution’, has not resulted in similarly favourable developments in the underdeveloped countries, particularly of South Asia, but rather seems to have shaken the economic foundation of their agricultural populations and given rise to unexpected developments. Some observers still maintain that the very momentum of the green revolution will eventually be strong enough to bring about the gradual transformation of agriculture which is an essential precondition for development. Considering the structure of the prevailing agrarian systems, however, it seems more likely that rather than improving rural conditions such a transformation will primarily benefit the already privileged farmers while bypassing the bulk of the rural people and even reducing their chances of gaining a livelihood in agriculture.

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1 Vyas, V. S., Tyagi, D. S. and Misra, V. N., ‘Significance of the New Strategy of Agricultural Development for Small Farmers—A Cross-Section Study of Two Areas’ (Agro-Economic Research Centre, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, 1968).

2 Jakhade, V. M., Presidential Address, Twenty-Ninth All-India Agricultural Economics Conference 1969,Andhra University Waltair, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics,December 1969.

3 Shah, C. H., Economic and Political Weekly, Bombay, 10 01 1970.

4 Ladejinsky, Wolf, ‘The Green Revolution in Punjab, A Field Trip’, in Economic and Political Weekly, Bombay, Vol. IV. No. 26, Review of Agriculture, 06 1969.

5 Dandekar, V. M. and Rath, Nilakantha, ‘Poverty in India: Dimension and Trends’, Economic and Political Weekly, Bombay, Vol. VI, No. 1, 201 1971.

6 Ladejinsky, Wolf, ‘Green Revolution in Bihar, The Kosi Area, A Field Trip’, Economic and Political Weekly, Bombay, Vol. IV, No. 30.

7 Annual Address by McNamara, Robert S., President of the Bank and its Affiliates 1969: Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors, Summary Proceedings,Washington D.C., 1969

8 R. Barker, S. H. Liao and S. K. De Datta, ‘Economic Analysis of Rice Production from Experimental Results to Farmer Fields’, Paper presented at Agronomy Department Seminar, UPCA, 9 August 1968, offset, p. 12.

9 Pranab-Bardhan, , ‘Green Revolution and Agricultural Labourers’, Economic and Political Weekly, Bombay, Special Number, 07 1970, pp. 1239 ff., and 14 November 1970.

10 For more details see Jacoby, Erich H., ‘Man and Land: The Fundamental Issue in Development’, App. IV, André Deutsch, London, 1971.

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Modern Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0026-749X
  • EISSN: 1469-8099
  • URL: /core/journals/modern-asian-studies
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