External Publication

Disruptive Technologies in Food Production: The Next Green Revolution

by Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros
Published on 18 September 2020

Chapters in Edited Books


In the 1960s and 1970s, agriculture started its First Green Revolution (FGR). This was revolutionary because of the nature of the transformation of the food production landscape, allowing for significantly higher yields through greater use of improved production inputs. Disruptive technologies, in this section, refer to technologies which can allow for similar improvements in crop yields or in terms of other metrics such as resource use efficiency (Teng ).

Insights from the First Green Revolution

One can say that the FGR focused on extensive, rural agriculture. New seeds allowed for higher-yielding varieties of rice, such as IR8, which had the special property of being semidwarfed, for greater resistance to lodging. There were also other new inputs (fertilizers, pesticides), greater mechanization (tractors, threshers, harvesters), and intensified infrastructure investments (irrigation, farm-to-market roads). Over time, average rice yields increased by more than 100%,…