The 'Green Revolution' - Geography@ .The 'Green Revolution' The Green Revolution of the 1970s changed
The 'Green Revolution' - Geography@ .The 'Green Revolution' The Green Revolution of the 1970s changed
The 'Green Revolution' - Geography@ .The 'Green Revolution' The Green Revolution of the 1970s changed
The 'Green Revolution' - Geography@ .The 'Green Revolution' The Green Revolution of the 1970s changed

The 'Green Revolution' - Geography@ .The 'Green Revolution' The Green Revolution of the 1970s changed

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  • + In this section you'll learn about differences between top-down and bottom-up development. The 'Green Revolution' The Green Revolution of the 1970s changed rice

    growing forever. lt offered HYV (High Yielding

    Variety) seeds, instead of the traditional lower-

    yielding varieties - which had sometimes not

    produced enough food and led to hunger. The

    HYVs were developed by scientists working for

    trans-national corporations (TNCs). Now the rice

    plants are shorter, grow quicker, and produce

    more grain than traditional rice (see right) .

    09 tonnes per hectare

    100 cm

    NEW (HYV)

    16 tonnes per hectare

    Thanks to the new HYVs (or 'miracle seeds' as

    they are sometimes called), India now exports

    rice. However, the overall effects have been

    mixed: .A The differences between HYVs and traditional varieties of rice.

    Farmers now have to buy new seeds every

    year, instead of saving some from last year's


    The seeds are high yielding, but they also need

    irrigation water, fertiliser and pesticides. Only

    larger, wealthier farmers can afford these.

    Crop yields are higher than traditional varieties,

    so incomes have risen - for the wealthy.

    The over-use of chemicals to control pests, has

    reduced the resistance to pesticides.

    Working from the bottom up ASTRA (Application of Science and Technology

    in Rural Areas) is a recent development project

    in rural India. Local researchers found out what

    people's lives were like. They talked to families,

    recorded how they spent their time, and listened

    to their problems and needs. This is an example

    of how a bottom-up development project works.

    Top-down development The Green Revolution is an example of 'top-down development' - where decisions about development are made by governments

    or large private companies. These decisions

    are then imposed on people, because -

    supposedly- there will be benefits for them.

    Top down development involves:

    Decision-makers looking at the 'big

    picture' to identify needs or opportunities,

    e.g. to establish national energy sources,

    food security, or better transport networks.

    Experts helping to plan the changes.

    Local people being told about them, but

    with no say in whether they will happen or


    The argument goes that all people will benefit

    by a process called 'trickle down' - where jobs

    and therefore wealth, 'trickle down' to the poor.

  • The problem of time ASTRA found that, for most rural families, the

    daily routine takes time - especially for women

    and girls. Cleaning, collecting fuel, preparing and

    cooking food, fetching water, tending sacred

    cows, looking after the vegetable patch - all

    before any paid work is done in the fields! Rural

    girls have little education and few complete

    primary school. Most time is spent collecting

    fuelwood. Every family needs 25-30kg of it every

    week, and it takes hours to collect. As population

    increases, it's in increasingly short supply.

    Solution -think cow dung! However, the answer could be right under their

    noses- cow dung! Cow dung is a highly valued

    resource, because it produces gas- called

    biogas -which is used for cooking by day, and powering an electricity generator at night. lt is fed

    into a brick, clay or concrete-lined pit that forms

    part of a biogas plant (see diagram). The pit is

    sealed with a metal dome and the dung inside

    ferments to produce methane. As pressure builds

    up, the methane is piped into homes. it's a simple

    technique using local materials- and is another

    example of intermediate technology (see Section 4.8).

    Families gain because:

    less time is spent collecting fuelwood

    there's no ash, so less time is spent cleaning

    heat is instant, so cooking is quicker

    there 's less smoke and fewer cases of lung


    + Bottom-up development means experts work with communities to identify their

    real needs giving local people control in improving their lives experts assisting with progress

    Biogas collection


    .A A biogas plant

    your questions

    1 Explain the difference between 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' development projects.

    2 a Copy and complete the table below to compare these 'top-down' (HYV) and 'bottom-up' {biogas) development projects.

    0 I Top-down I Bottom-up project project

    Size and scale

    Aims of the project

    Who pays for it

    Who makes the decisions about what's needed

    Raw materials and technology required

    Who benefits

    b Use your completed table to decide which type of project is best for (i) national interests, (ii) local communities.

    3 Exam-style question Using examples, describe the differences between top-down and bottom-up development. (6 marks)


  • + In this section you'll assess the benefits and problems of a top-down

    development project.

    Top-down - the government decides! Over much of India, rainfall is seasonal

    and unevenly spread (see right). Parts of

    north-west India are so dry that semi-desert

    exists, which prevents people from making

    a decent living. Across the rest of India,


    May and September, the Indian monsoon

    brings huge falls of rain that are difficult

    to imagine- think of the heaviest rain

    you have ever seen, and then double it.

    November and March, almost no rain

    falls across large areas of India.

    As India's population increases, and its

    economy booms, demand for water is

    rising. As a result, the Government decided

    that western India needed super dams to:

    encourage economic development, by

    providing drinking water and electricity

    for cities and industries

    open up dry lands for farming using

    irrigation to feed a growing population.

    Building large dams makes it possible to

    store monsoon rains to use during the dry

    season. By 2008, the Indian Government

    had built over 4500 dams - 14 of which are

    super dams. Now the Narmada - one of

    Western India's major rivers (see right)- is

    being tackled with a series of 3000 dams

    (big and small). The scheme will take a 100

    years to complete! But how well will it work

    for people and the environment?



    N 0 400


    Rainfall patterns in India

    T The Narmada River in western India, and the site of the largest dam - the Sardar Sarovar.

    0 60 ...__..____. Km


    Key Rainfall in mm


    + Irrigation is taking water from areas that have it, to those that don't, in order to allow farming .

  • The Sardar Sarovar Dam The Sardar Sarovar Dam, along the Narmada River

    (see photo), is already one of the world's largest

    dams. When completed, it will provide water all

    year round to areas of India that suffer drought.

    Groups benefiting from the dam

    Originally designed to be 80 metres high, the

    government now plans to raise the dam to 136.5

    metres - to increase its capacity.

    People in India's cities. The dam is multi-purpose - it provides 3.5 billion litres of

    drinking water a day, and 1450 megawatts of

    hydroelectric power (HEP), which is more than

    750 wind turbines!

    Farmers in other parts of western India.

    A series of canals distribute water to other

    states in India. When complete, they w ill

    irrigate 1.8 million hectares of farmland in

    the driest parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra,

    Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (see maps

    opposite). Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh suffer

    from drought and lose 20 billion in farm

    production each year.

    your questions

    WAc...ftfo yo&A fAi"'k?

    + Do you th ink governments have the right to develop

    'top-down' schemes like this if they affect so many


    1 a Copy and complete the following table about the economic, social and environmental benefits and problems of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

    I Benefits I Problems Economic



    b Highlight in one colour those benefits or problems

    Groups losing out from the dam

    Local residents. 234 villages have been drowned

    so far, forcing 320 000 people out. Few villages can

    afford the electricity generated by the dam - only the

    cities benefit.

    Local farmers. Good quality farmland has been

    submerged. Those gaining from irrigation will lose

    out from increased soil salinity, making the soil

    less usable. Damming the river means that fertile

    sediment, normally deposited on flood plains each

    year, will be lost.

    Western India. Religious and historic sites have been flooded by the dam. The silt brought down by feeder

    rivers will collect behind the dam and reduce the

    reservoir's capacity.

    People downstream. This area has a history of

    earthquake activity. Seismologists believe that the

    weight of large dams can trigger earthquakes, which

    could destroy the dam and cause massive loss of life.

    which are local, and in another those which are further away.

    c Which are the greatest benefits- economic, social or environmental? Are they local or further away?

    d Which are the greatest problems? e Explain whether you think top-down sche