Sample English Paper on The Green Revolution
Simran Sethi, one of the award-winning journalists, in his book Bread, Wine Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Food We Love, has managed to explore both the history and cultural significance of the human being’s most beloved tastes. In doing so, he pays homage to some of the ingredients which he believes are responsible for daily pleasure, though at the same time illustrating the homogenous inhibiting food supply in the current century. According to Sethi, food emerge to be the most pleasure of human life, while at the same time the greatest basic need. He argues that human respond in a more personal way to sweet, bitter or sour tastes, with a combination of their individual biological traits and psychological connections. Sethi has clearly shown how the foods enjoyed by human beings have always been endangered by genetic erosion. Personally, I agree with the concepts presented in Sethi’s book, since the world is experiencing a slow but steady loss of diversity particularly on the food crops. For example, in the United States (US), different meals often have the same tastes, whether you dine at Trump Grill or Midwestern potluck. Despite the endless options for the stocks availed in supermarkets, they demonstrate superficial differences, basically in flavor and brand.
Benefits and Problems of Green Revolution
Both from the lecture and the book, the concepts and important highlights with regard to the Green Revolution (GR) have been addressed. Talking about GR, scholars refer to a given time frame characterized by a drastic increase in the productivity of global agriculture, arising from the new advances, both in agriculture and the general scientific world. Within this particular time frame, scientist managed to come up with new chemical fertilizers alongside other synthetic herbicides and pesticides that proved to increase the agricultural yields. With the adoption of the chemical fertilizers, farmers have been able to supply the food crops with additional nutrients, which in turn has enhanced the increased yield. The application of advanced herbicides and pesticides have seen the farmers successfully controlling weeds, killing insects as well as preventing diseases and in turn resulting in higher productivity.
Basically, the adoption of both chemical fertilizers and synthetic herbicides has been quite beneficial by leading to higher yields. Increased yields are further realized from the adoption of multiple cropping methods, hence feeding the ever-growing world population becomes a reality (Sethi 19) Linking this particular topic to some of the ideas presented in the book, it is clear that GR has been beneficial in enhancing extensive agricultural activities. In relation to the previous agricultural sector, large scale agriculture was limited to those crops demanding extensive human intervention for them to grow healthy. As from the introduction of the GR, agricultural activities have been simplified, even the marginalized farming communities are in a position to grow crops on an industrial scale.
Sethi has illustrated how different food spices, with the same tastes, are found in different parts of the world. He implies that different parts of the world are now in a position to successfully grow any crop; all attributed to the rise of GR. This directly links to the lecture, by stressing the fact that through an innovative farming process, it is now possible to undertake agricultural activities in any part of the world. Though one cannot cultivate cassava on a beach, it is possible to utilize different terrains or land for a similar agricultural use. This implies that it is not a necessity for farmers to occupy fertile lands in order to successfully cultivate their crops, as the GR has enhanced farming everywhere.
Despite the benefits of GR, the lecture has highlighted some of the hazards arising from the same, all illustrated in Sethi’s work. With this modern method agriculture, there have been a rise of poisonous weeds and pests that have proved to be uncontrollable. Other than this, studies have reported the invasion of species, which arises from cross pollination; an aspect of GR. Also, the monoculture aspect of GR has been criticized since it demands large tracts of land. In the current century, limited land is available for agriculture, with the intensive quantities of both fertilizers and water subjecting farmers to difficulties.
Solution to the Challenges of Green Revolution
From a personal point of view, both the challenges facing GR and those arising from its adoption can be improved upon by science. In other words, with a scientific approach, the world can come up with win-win solutions from the adoption of GR in agriculture (Pingali 11) This is driven by the fact that whenever one related challenges from both the global challenge and the social context, they all drive to the massive expectations on agriculture. Therefore, the question becomes, “what can scientists do in order to achieve GR in a more effective manner?”.
Narrowing down at water supply, there is enough evidence suggesting that irrigation has been a solution in the past, hence solutions to the current challenges will be water harvesting and directing resources to small-scale rain-fed agriculture. Globally, close to 80% of agricultural land relies on rain, with largest untapped productivity potential realized in these areas. However, previous studies have suggested on how the productivity of rainfall can be improved significantly through such means like rainwater harvesting, which can lead to subsequent high levels of biomass production. The approach will see an increase in maize and millet among other cereals in the savannah regions of the world.
The approach will see farmers consuming water that is relatively less fresh, since rain-fed agriculture minimizes the amount of water loss during evaporation. Therefore, less will be lost in the runoff, while boosting productivity, sequestering high levels of carbon in agricultural land and generating more livelihoods. It will therefore be important for any nation practicing GR to launch a national strategy on how they can upgrade rainwater harvesting, sustainable land management and integrated ways of managing nutrients. Implementing these approaches will see the world, realizing the full potential of GR, including those regions that are prone to water scarcity.
Linking the lecture notes and the work by Sethi, it is clear that the use of pesticides has posed a major challenge to the consumers’ health. It is important to come up with scientific approaches that will make agricultural produce, air, water and the land free from the currently used toxic chemicals. The best solution to the pest and weed problems is the adoption of agricultural methods that are non-toxic in nature. Switching to organically grown food crops and strategies of pest control that prove to be sustainable enough are the key to both individuals’ and their surrounding’s health. This can be realized through better testing on the synergistic effects arising from the usage of particular pesticides, non-toxic pest management programs and a general reduction in pesticide use.
Both from the lecture and the book, the concepts and important highlights with regard to GR have been addressed. Within this particular time frame, a scientist has managed to come up with new chemical fertilizers alongside other synthetic herbicides and pesticides that proved to increase the agricultural yields. The major challenges are water and land shortages together with the threats to human health arising from the use of the dangerous chemicals. However, this can be best addressed through increased harvesting of rainwater and non-toxic agricultural practices.
Pingali, Prabhu L. “Green revolution: impacts, limits, and the path ahead.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109.31 (2012): 12302-12308.
Sethi, Simran. Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love. HarperCollins, 2015.