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Genome. 1999 Aug;42(4):646-55.

Green revolution: preparing for the 21st century.

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  • International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Manila, Philippines.


In the 1960s there were large-scale concerns about the world's ability to feed itself. However, widespread adoption of "green revolution" technology led to major increases in food-grain production. Between 1966 and 1990, the population of the densely populated low-income countries grew by 80%, but food production more than doubled. The technological advance that led to the dramatic achievements in world food production over the last 30 years was the development of high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice. These varieties are responsive to fertilizer inputs, are lodging resistant, and their yield potential is 2-3 times that of varieties available prior to the green revolution. In addition, these varieties have multiple resistance to diseases and insects and thus have yield stability. The development of irrigation facilities, the availability of inorganic fertilizers, and benign government policies have all facilitated the adoption of green-revolution technology. In the 1990s, the rate of growth in food-grain production has been lower than the rate of growth in population. If this trend is not reversed, serious food shortages will occur in the next century. To meet the challenge of feeding 8 billion people by 2020, we have to prepare now and develop the technology for raising farm productivity. We have to develop cereal cultivars with higher yield potential and greater yield stability. We must also develop strategies for integrated nutrient management, integrated pest management, and efficient utilization of water and soil resources.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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