Fighting World Hunger on a Global Scale: The Rockefeller Foundation and the Green Revolution in Mexico

by Mankel Brinkmann

Jan 1, 2009
The agricultural transformation of less developed countries, commonly referred to as the Green Revolution, is the result of one of the most ambitious international development programs of US-American philanthropy. In particular, the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) was one of the first philanthropic organizations to devote substantial attention to solving problems of world hunger after World War II. The RF led the first efforts in the 1940s to increase the productivity of wheat and corn in Mexico and therefore became a central agency in altering agricultural practices on a worldwide scale. What has been called the Green Revolution was a vast and technically complex pattern of agricultural modernization, "aimed at increasing the productivity of land by means of the introduction of a science-based technology." The technological package consisted of seeds of new high-yielding varieties in conjunction with the capital-intensive utilization of chemical fertilizers and insecticides, disease-control measures, agricultural machinery and soil and water management.
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