The Second Green Revolution starting in Africa
Micro Irrigation, which is 95% efficient — meaning that almost all the water is applied to nurturing the plants compared with as little as 20% in traditional irrigation. While irrigated land makes up only 17% of all farmland, it produces 40% of the world’s crops.
The Green Revolution has been losing its momentum for a long time. Growth in world grain production slowed from 3% per annum to 1% over the last decade. Improper irrigation techniques cause some of the problems: too much water in the fields leave behind salts that build up in the soil and this ultimately leaves the land infertile.
Somehow the U.N. predicts that farmers will increase the area of land under cultivation by 27% over the next 18 years. Sustainable agriculture will develop without exhausting the land. Organic farming will become more attractive as fewer farmers will depend on chemical fertilizers, for example, beans replace the fields’ lost nitrogen.
Genetic manipulation will create more bountiful crops. Micro-irrigation will expand to more than the present 1% of all irrigated lands. Together all these trends could spur a Second Green Revolution –– one that would be less destructive that the first.