High Yield Varieties

Cartoon image of four identical seedlings, each with two new leaves, with a brightly coloured blue and green background.

In the development of “High Yielding Varieties”, multiple uses of plant biomass have been sacrificed for a single use.

The term “High Yielding Varieties” is a misnomer. The distinguishing feature of these seeds is that they are highly responsive to certain key inputs such as fertilizers and irrigation. In the absence of additional inputs of fertilizers and irrigation, the new seeds perform worse than indigenous varieties.

The measurement of output is also biased by restricting it to the marketable parts of crops. However crops have traditionally been bred and cultivated to produce not just food for man but fodder for animals and organic fertilizer for soils.

– Adapted from “Monoculture of the Mind” by Vandana Shiva, p 42-45

Image derived from “Seedling” by zizee, Public Domain.