Why research must continue
Plant breeders must constantly develop and improve new varieties because conditions always change. Pests, disease and climate change threaten crops. New, more nutritious crops are needed. A growing population demands we grow 25 to 70 percent more food on the same amount of land by 2050 - and to do it with the least harm possible to ecosystems and wildlands.
What was the Green Revolution?
In the mid 20th century, countries faced starvation because they couldn't grow enough food or afford to buy it elsewhere. Plant breeders developed wheat and rice with shorter, thicker stalks with larger seed heads. Varieties were developed for different conditions around the world. Researchers developed synthetic fertilizers and herbicides to control weeks. Food production soared.
A leader of this "Green Revolution" was American plant scientist Norman Borlaug. With proper fertilizers and care, the dwarf varieties he developed for Mexican farmers delivered six times the yield, helping to make that country self-sufficient in wheat.