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Major innovations in agriculture have always proved to be controversial. With reference to recent changes in agriculture evaluate the validity of this statement.

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Introduction

Major innovations in agriculture have always proved to be controversial. With reference to recent changes in agriculture evaluate the validity of this statement. Innovations in agriculture have rapidly changed the nature of agriculture in all parts of the world. Innovations such as irrigation projects, government schemes and use of mechanism and chemicals have proved to be controversial as there are always negative and positive affects in the area whether it is socially, environmentally and economically. The introduction of Green Revolution in developing countries such as India has transformed agriculture and led to significant increase in agricultural production between 1940s-1960s. The technological use of high yield variations (HYVs) or using seeds with superior genes created by scientist have helped to increase yield production and solved the problem of food shortages. Economically, the Green Revolution also created plenty of jobs not only for agricultural workers but also industrial workers by the creation of lateral facilities such as factories and hydro-electric power stations. Socially, India transformed itself from a starving nation to an exporter of food. This earned admiration for India in the comity of nations, especially in the Third World. ...read more.

Middle

However, the scheme has produced significant environmental problems. The Aral Sea shrunk in size as less water is left to feed it and problems of salinisation occurs and water supply became contaminated for people to use. The fishing industry also suffers. Farming has also became more capital intensive on both LEDCs and MEDCs due to investment from multinationals like Tesco and Unilever's rubber plantations in Cameroon. In LEDCs, the growth of agribusiness has led to increased food production and increased the GDP of the country as the country becomes more productive and increased its export level. The investment from transnational companies have helped to create positive multiplier effect and improved the living standard of the many LEDCs like Thailand and Malaysia with its extensive rubber plantations. However, the nature of capital intensive farm is to maximize production. This has led to increasing use of pesticides such as DDT have eliminated pest and increased production but at the same time the chemicals contaminate the environment and accumulate in the food chain known as bioaccumulation. The use of fertilizers increases the level of nutrients and increases yields but also creates negative environmental impact as some nitrates leak out and causes problems of euthrophication. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, these innovations don't prove to be sustainable for long term as they produce negative socio-economic effects and extensively damages the environment. However, some may argue that in today's globalised economic scenario, 100 per cent self-sufficiency is not considered as vital a target as it was when the world political climate was more dangerous due to the Cold War. Moreover, commercial farming whether they are in MEDCs and LEDCs there is always positive effects and negative effects. But it is questionable whether the positive outcomes outweigh the negative effects. In the short term, the countries would benefit from commercial farming but the environmental effects such as soil exhaustion and over cultivation are long lasting. Technological innovations in agriculture such as GM foods could help to answer the problems of food shortages and allow crops to be resistant to surrounding environment but at the same time we do not know the negative consequences that it can cause. To a certain extent, it seems that none of the innovations are completely socially, commercially and environmentally sustainable and it is obvious that major innovations in agriculture have proved to be controversial ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Arisara K. 13J ...read more.

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