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Assessing the impact of the green revolution

The development of modern or high yielding crop varieties (MVs) for developing countries began in a concerted fashion in the late 1950s. In the mid-1960s,scientists developed MVs of rice and wheat that were subsequently released to farmers in Latin America and Asia. The success of these MVs was characterized as a “Green Revolution.” Early rice and wheat MVs were rapidly adopted in tropical and subtropical regions with good irrigation systems or reliable rainfall. These MVs were associated with the first two major international agricultural research centers (IARCs): the International Center for Wheat and Maize Improvement in Mexico (CIM-MYT) and the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines (IRRI). There are now16 such centers that operate under the auspices of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) (1). These centers currently support about 8500 scientists and scientific staff, and the annual budget of the CGIAR is currently around $340 million.



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