The Green Revolution Conspiracy
“Co-operative social structures evident in many agrarian communities need to be dismantled in order to encourage aggressive interest in the marketplace.” (Arthur Moses, President of the US Agricultural Development Council. Perlas &Vellve:3)
“The biggest problem in a world economic policy and increased investment was the problem of underdevelopment…. The correct response (to this) should be a widening of the boundaries of US national interests and the first objective of US policy should be a drive to increase food production in the underdeveloped areas by 25%, which would bring them barely above the minimum needed for health. This drive was to be followed by raw material development and extraction and finally, by increased export of manufactured goods (from the US. and Europe) to those areas (to be developed). These were the only ways to increase private investment in these frontier areas.”(Rockenfeller in Foreign Affairs 1951. Perlas & Vellve 1997: 3)
The Green Revolution initiated to arrest the spread of socialism in Asia and South America was a well doctored out conspiracy against the tropical countries for reasons that are easy to understand.
In Asia and elsewhere people were demanding a social just society. Land reforms, access to resources, equity, a better sharing of their countries’ wealth were the aspirations of the people. However it is clear from the quotes above, spelling out the economic motivations of the green revolution, that these aspirations were alien to the initiators of the green revolution (and also alien to the established powers in certain tropical countries). That the Marcosses or Mobutos exploited their people and national wealth for personal ends did not in the least bothered the Rockenfellers and consorts, much to the contrary. A status quo was necessary as cheap minerals and other resources were needed for the hungering industry of the US and Europe. The tropics and its peoples were seen only as a promising market place to be exploited.
The founders of the green revolution lived in total ignorance of the facts of daily life of the people they were supposed to serve. This is indicated by their lack of knowledge about the indigenous life styles and diets of the beneficiaries. Millets, pulses, herbs and other forgotten foods formed the staple for the largest part of the population of the “underdeveloped” countries. Who was actually living in ignorance? In fact millets, pulses and other forgotten crops were totally neglected or whipped out by the green revolution policies. This in history is only paralleled by the Spanish conquistadores who wiped out Amaranths and other grains because these were connected to the culture and socio religious practices of the conquered and enslaved peoples.
An in depth study of the socio economic and cultural situation of the beneficiaries was either not done or if such a survey was done it was not taken into consideration. The green revolution pictures a total negation of the culture and sociology – i.e. caring to understand and respect people – of the beneficiaries. For instance special rices were grown for old people who had difficulty to chew. Other varieties were meant for lactating mothers; long duration rices (10 months) were grazed at one point by cattle thus providing fodder for animals. Besides the saliva of the animals contains growth promoting substances and as a consequence new tillers readily emerged after grazing. There were other varieties that grew 2 meters tall providing fodder for the animals in winter etc etc.
All this shows that farmers had a much vaster outlook and ecological vision and were not looking at brute yields only though they had varieties with high yields.
In fact it was a deliberate choice not to study the local diets and find ways to strengthen and improve local diets if needed. Ecological restoration, harnessing, optimizing or increasing the availability of resources or creating them when absent was not given a single thought. Apparently rice and wheat were the only grains people in the tropical countries could eat.
In an analysis of the green revolution conspiracy the following issues have to be clearly understood.
First the tropics are known for their great biodiversity. More species of plants can be found in one Ha. of tropical forest than in large tracts of temperate forest. This ecological principle was always followed in indigenous agriculture where many crops were grown together. There was also a great variety of staple foods. In one area sorghum was the dominant staple, here varagu, there quinoa or tarwi, samai or tennai etc. Pulses oilseeds and herbs, a great gamut of plants needed for the daily diet, were grown together in the same field.
In traditional farming there was a great diversity also at the species level. That explains the thousands of different varieties of a species like rice which were grown before the Green Revolution eliminated them.(between 60.000 to 100.000 varieties in India*)
In contrast, IR 36 created by IRRI in 1977 and supposed to resist 8 major diseases and pests, was during the height of the green revolution cultivated on 11 million Ha.; an ecological absurdity. Two new viruses, ragged stunt and wilted stunt as well as BPH created havoc with this new variety and farmers lost heavily.
The deliberate omission of this prime eco principle of bio diversity at the species level had as a consequence the spread of pests and disease and hence the need of “plant protection measures” read poisons. Pesticides and more pesticides. Breeding exclusively for grain at the cost of quality and resistance further enhanced the dependence on agrotoxics, an ecological and health disaster.
Secondly, as already mentioned earlier, the green revolution promoted cultural collapse and had a severe impact on the social structures in tropical countries.
For instance the preparation of seed grains was often a cultural-religious event. The preparation of seed grains was in the hands of women. Women relate better to the fertility aspect (fertility ceremonies) and as mothers to creation. Under the impact of the green revolution all this was overthrown and seed handeling became a men’s affair (getting seeds, fertilizers, buying pesticides etc. at the department stores). This resulted in a disempowerment and destitution of women, a total disregard for the cause of gender equity.
Third, the total yields (which yields in comparison to what?) were not increased, mainly the grain-straw ratio was changed. Thus we got the dwarf varieties producing less straw but responsive to chemical fertilizers. The tropics however are known for their high biomass production. We find the tallest grasses and trees, the most abundant biomass growth per area in the tropics. Reducing the biomass output of the green revolution crops such as rice, wheat (and later all sorts of plants from banana to drumstick)- is squarely against the eco and agro principles of the tropics. As a result much less straw and crop residues used as fodder by animals were produced resulting in less dung, that means starving animals and soils of fodder and manure. It means also an increasing pressure on the already marginal grazing lands and accelerated erosion and silting up of water bodies. Dwarf varieties created an artificial need for chemical fertilizers. Fertilizers and other agrotoxics had to be imported from the West.
Further, the tropics are known for their high turn over of organic matter i.e. high bacterial activity and mineralization of organic matter (OM). Dumping soluble fertilizers on tropical soils causes rapid mineralization of organic matter.
High rainfall and heavy irrigation causes leaching of fertilizers and mineralized OM very quickly hence more and more fertilizers are needed. When the OM buffer in the soil is destroyed, plants become very susceptible to an increasing array of pest and diseases, Especially fertilizer-blown up plants, selected for high yield at the cost of other valuable characteristics, are very susceptible to pathogens.
This results in a plethora of plant protection measures and equipment. Spraying fungicides on such crops as wheat eliminates the population of soil fungi. The task of soil fungi is to attack the ligneous structure of the straw. Without fungi no further transformation by bacteria of straw to humus is possible. The straw litter of the fields unable to decompose hinders cultivation hence straw is burnt!
When the OM disappears from the soils the tropical clays become very stiff and cultivating them with animal traction such as cows or bullock becomes very difficult, hence mechanization. Tractors and heavy implements compact and further destroy the fragile tropical soils.
The salt content of chemical fertilizers kills off soil fauna.
High reliance on irrigation and consequent leaching has caused depletion and contamination of underground water sources ….
The green revolution was hiding its real motives behind an agricultural science of dubious nature. In fact the dwarf varieties of wheat were taken from Japan and via the US brought to Mexico, where they were crossed with Mexican varieties, a conventional procedure*. No new breeding technologies were developed but the same old isolation and gene for gene technology.
Population breeding, in tune with the existing practices of tropical farmers, was totally neglected. In fact tropical farmers and their valuable knowledge were not at all considered. No effort was done to involve the farmers in breeding or refine their own selection methods. Higher and sustained yields can equally be obtained from indigenous varieties by population breeding techniques without loosing other valuable characteristic.
Besides, the short duration varieties allowed eg. wheat to be grown much higher up in the North where the summers are very short, as is the case in the upper parts of the US and Canada, where vast tracts of land could now be cultivated. Western Countries in the Mediterranean belt and California profited substantially from green revolution rices.
Between 1960 and 1992 the western world invested 615 million US $ in IRRI, farmers in the industrial world reaped an economic benefit of 650 million US $ each year from IRRI rice genes culled from tropical countries ***.
The tropical countries did not produce neither agrotoxics, gear and equipment , fertilizers or tractors, We know who did !
An objective of the World Bank was that 1% of the income from the rich countries would flow towards the poor ones; in fact 3% of the income from the poorer countries flowed towards the richer ones.
The only thing to become greener during the green revolution was the US dollar.
* Take 60.000 rice varieties developed over 4000 years. Say that over such a long period of time some 40.000 varieties would have disappeared ( according to certain observations this could be even much more). That means that farmers have bred 100.000 : 4.000 = 25 varieties every year ! The GR with all its millions of dollars and dullards was never able to do that and in fact they bred only one tasteless variety IR8, the others were IR 8 with some plastic surgery.
** The Nobel price for Peace, not for science was allotted to the breeder of the “miracle wheat”.
*** IRRI performed rather poorly and not without blemish. A public scandal about IRRI’s rice blast research being pursued in co-operation with the DuPont Corporation, among others, nearly brought IRRI to a close down in 1987. Blast was not a major problem in the Philippines. Adequate facilities to contain the strains were insufficient. DuPont provided the strains and had a vested interest in increasing fungicide sales. An external review of IRRI crystallized donor criticism and coincided with funding cutbacks. (Perlas & Vellve 1997: 13,14,16) M.S. Swaminathan was replaced by Klaus Lampe in 1998.
where is INDIA regarding this DEMONIAC , DIABOLIC and DRACONIAN plan of THE USA to promote those industries used to manufacture arms and gun powder during WORLD WAR 2 and with whose help the USA attained their objective in INDIA ?
MS SWAMIINATHAN , AMERICAN AGENT, working under the directive of MAD MOHAN SING, under the cover of GREEN REVOLUTION , he introduced without any PITY for our poor farmers, CHEMICAL fertilisers to promote AMERICAN CORPORATES with unsold stock AND POISONOUS PESTICIDE HERE by inviting them in the name of helping the famrers , he destroyed them and pushed them to suicide : never ever recommend such persons as POTENTIAL PRESIDENT OF INDIA..