Socio-economic Interactions

Increased agricultural production was only possible by breeding high-yielding crops. Despite concentration on a few, especially productive, crops it is necessary to maintain diversity, in order to maintain resistance to plant diseases in the high-yielding crops. This resistance is the result of cross-breeding with wild varieties. Genetic material for the maintenance of crop plants is held by international breeding institutes which collect and keep them. So the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics, ICRISAT, Patancheru, near Hyderabad, India, is responsible for maintenance and breeding of pulses and has played an important part in the "green revolution" The picture shows (above) the experimental fields of chickpea (Cicer arietinum). Breeding high-yielding types does not necessarily lead to sustainable agriculture. More often exploitation and "dust bowls" are observed, indicating over-use of natural resources. The photograph shows (below) a dust storm in the wheat area near Adelaide, south-western Australia. The original grass-eucalyptus vegetation has been completely destroyed and the soil is bare of vegetation for almost half a year, when summer wheat is sown. Photo E.-D. Schulze

:urther environ m entai damage

Increased consumption of energy and resources


Overexploitation of biological resources

Conversion of natural ecosystems to ecosystem : and function

Change in demand structure

■ Fig. 5.6.1. A Global trends affecting bio-geochemical events in the hydro-, atmo-, pedo- and biospheres. Also, ) socio-economic factors such as population size, economic, psycho-social spheres and scientific/technical effects which change the global trends are indicated (WBGU 2001). B Example of a systems analysis of the exploitation syndrome. (WBGU 2001)

= amplifying effect

= attenuating effect

= unknown effect

= amplifying effect

= attenuating effect

= unknown effect

■ - amplifying effect - attenuating effect

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