Alternative farming techniques

Essay by KeirHigh School, 12th grade March 2006

download word file, 4 pages 3.4

Downloaded 73 times

There are three major innovations nowadays: green revolution, GM food, and sustainable farming. The first two have been proved to be very controversial; however, the last one has more good than harm. (That can explain why we named it sustainable farming)

Green revolution (HYV high yielding variety) Subsistence Rice Farming in the Ganges Valley, India:

* The use of HYVs or high yielding seed varieties, such as IR8, more than trebled food production, giving higher average yields and allowing double or treble cropping;

* Greater use of fertilisers, tractors and mechanised ploughs;

* Grants and loans to buy new seeds and equipment.


Yields increased three times; Multiple cropping, such advantage will help more poor people because India has rapid population growth

Other crops grown which varied the diet (such as winter wheat);

Surplus to sell in cities creating profit;

Improving standard of living;

Allows purchase of fertilisers, machinery.

Less people have to involve in primary industry so they can seek higher education and develop other skills


Poor farmers could not afford HYVs, fertilisers and machinery;

Some borrowed and ended up with large debts; machinery replace labour which result as unemployment

HYVs need more water and fertiliser, which is expensive

More water require means the downstream area Bangladesh will have water shortage crisis

Water may be pumped from ground water and chemical will eventually pollute the water

Eutrophication caused by the increasing use of fertilizers

From the case of India we can see such method definitely brings both benefits and problems. Generally rich landlord farmers have been benefit while poor farmers are suffering from losing jobs, polluted water supply, and further debt.

GM food (genetic modify food):

Genetically modified organisms have been used to create pharmaceuticals (drugs) since the 1970s.

However, genetic manipulation is now being used to...