ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Science, Technology and Agriculture


The relationship between science and agriculture has increasingly become the subject matter of contentious debates. While the literature has grappled with these questions and contrary views have persisted, there is a degree of scientific consensus that the achievements of new agricultural technologies over the past two centuries, and especially in the second half of the 20th century, had momentous consequences. Between 1960 and 2020, while the world population more than doubled, the quantum of food production nearly quadrupled even though the land put into cultivation rose only by about 15%–16%. This achievement must be counted as an extraordinarily important long-term success of the green revolution technologies that spread during and after the 1960s.

The ability of the world to feel confident about feeding its population during the Covid-19 pandemic—notwithstanding the continuing geographically unequal distribution of production—was a recent illustration of this achievement. In 2020–21, the world produced 518 million tonnes of rice and 775 million tonnes of wheat, which were higher than their actual global annual utilisation. In fact, the supply of rice and wheat was higher than their production due to the presence of stocks from previous years. Consequently, the global stocks-to-use ratios in 2020–21 (that is, the proportion of utilisation available as stocks) were comfortable at 37.3% in rice and 38% in wheat.

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Updated On : 9th Nov, 2023
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