As it Grows, India Faces Problems Feeding Itself

September 14, 2009|

India, soon to be the largest nation on earth, is facing a crisis in providing enough food for its people without destroying their environment.

In an effort to increase the agricultural production in India in the 1960s, plant geneticist M.S. Swaminathan and American scientist Norman Borlaug developed hybrid crops and synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. This "green revolution" almost doubled the amount of wheat grown in India.

But with the increase in production came more degradation of the environment. Farmers were using too much pesticides and fertilizers; they were using up all the water.

Now, new social entrepreneurs and the Indian government are promoting more sustainable methods for producing foods that waste less water and use genetically engineered seeds that protect plants from bugs.