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Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition

The Green Revolution and Crop Biodiversity


Crop diversity in the fields of the developing world has changed fundamentally over the past 200 years with the intensification and commercialisation of agriculture. This process accelerated with the advent of the Green Revolution (GR) in the 1960s when public sector researchers and donors explicitly promoted the international transfer of improved seed varieties to farmers in developing countries. Since the GR, the germplasm that dominates the area planted to the major cereals has shifted from ‘landraces’ or the locally adapted populations that farmers have historically selected from seed they save, to ‘modern varieties’ or the more widely adapted seed types produced by scientific plant breeding programmes and purchased by farmers.

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