Abstract

Known as “Mexican seeds,” the high-yielding wheat seeds that helped launch the Green Revolution performed a seemingly impossible act: they explicitly referenced Mexico yet at the same time shed themselves of any affiliation with Mexican expertise and domestic science. Ironically, when Mexican seeds arrived in India, they were divested of association with national agrarian reform programs and instead became a stand-in for capitalist development and the transformative American promise of technology. Indeed, the story of the arrival of high-yielding variety (HYV) Mexican seeds to India has often become a tale not of a nation’s agro-technological prowess but rather of a singular man, Norman Borlaug, and his outsized role in mid-twentieth-century agricultural practices. In this article I argue that including relegated figures, such as 1960s diplomats and Mexican agronomists in South Asia, in the account of those transferring agricultural knowledge reveals a more nuanced understanding of “development” aid and calls into question the early hunger narratives that came to define the way we tell histories of the Green Revolution today.

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NOTES

1. The quote continues, “except perhaps in the rainfed areas where C 306 still dominates.” M. S. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution: A Dialogue (MacMillan India: Madras, 1993), 26.
2. Raúl Valdés, interview by author, May 14, 2016, copy held by author. The same story is quoted in Octavio Paz, embajador de México en India: documentos e informes (Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores: Mexico City, 2014), 15.
3. M. S. Swaminathan, interview by author, Chennai, India, Dec. 16, 2019, copy held by author.
4. Alluding to the focus on him as a lone contributor to the project to end hunger via agricultural science during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Borlaug emphasized, “I am acutely conscious of the fact that I am but one member of that vast army” of “hunger fighters.” Norman Borlaug’s Acceptance Speech, on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Dec. 10, 1970, Nobel Prize website, https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1970/borlaug/acceptance-speech/ (accessed Nov. 27, 2020).
5. Marci Baranski’s incisive dissertation takes on the science behind the claim of wide adaptability of hybrid seeds. See Marci Baranski, “The Wide Adaptation of Green Revolution Wheat” (PhD diss., Arizona State University, 2015).
6. Courtney Fullilove, The Profit of the Earth: The Global Seeds of American Agriculture (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2017), 1.
7. In recent years scholars working across the globe have begun to expand the narrative, often refuting the role attributed to American technocrats. See, for example, “Roundtable: New Narratives of the Green Revolution,” Agricultural History 91, no. 3 (Summer 2017): 397-422; as well as the work by Sigrid Schmalzer, Red Revolution, Green Revolution: Scientific Farming in Socialist China (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016).
8. Jonathan Harwood, Europe’s Green Revolution and Others Since: The Rise and Fall of Peasant-Friendly Plant Breeding (London: Routledge, 2012); Govindan Parayil, “The Green Revolution in India: A Case Study of Technological Change,” Technology and Culture 33, no. 4 (Oct. 1992): 737-56; Raj Patel, “The Long Green Revolution,” Journal of Peasant Studies 40 (Jan. 2013): 1-63; John H. Perkins, Geopolitics and the Green Revolution: Wheat, Genes, and the Cold War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998); Paul W. Davies, “An Historical Perspective from the Green Revolution to the Gene Revolution,” Nutrition Reviews 61, no. 6 (2003): S124-S134; Robert E. Evenson and Douglas Gollin, “Assessing the Impact of the Green Revolution, 1960 to 2000,” Science 300, no. 5620 (May 2003): 758-62; Francine R. Frankel India’s Green Revolution: Economic Gains and Political Costs (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015); Akhil Gupta, Postcolonial Developments: Agriculture in the Making of Modern India (Durham: Duke University Press), 1998.
9. Álvaro Obregon’s personal archives, for example, describe how he conducted business across the border for just one of his crops, chickpeas, while Plutarco Elías Calles’s papers show that his political clout in the region remained unchallenged even after his political exile in 1936. Both collections are held at the Fideicomiso Archivos Plutarco Elías Calles y Fernando Torreblanca, Mexico City, http://www.fapecft.org.mx/.
10. German and Italian communities would also thrive in this area. For an example of German influence in Sonora, see José Rómulo and Félix Gastélum, Pancho Schwarzbeck: Campesino y Empresario del Valle del Yaqui, Sonora Mexico (Ciudad Obregón: Concepto Gráfico, 2006). For American farmers in the region and expropriation, see John Dwyer, The Agrarian Dispute: The Expropriation of American-Owned Rural Land in Postrevolutionary Mexico (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008).
11. The majority of these were hydraulic technologies for the vast irrigation system in the valley.
12. The first experiment station in the Yaqui Valley was established in 1909 by the Compañía Richardson, a Los Angeles-based company given the concession to, initially, extend the Sud Pacific Railroad, and, later, take over the irrigation projects of the bankrupt Sinaloa and Sonora Irrigation Company. Rómulo and Gastélum, Pancho Schwarzbeck; Cynthia Hewitt de Alcantara, Modernizing Mexican Agriculture: Socioeconomic Implications of Technological Change, 1940-1970 (Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, 1976).
13. Jorge Artee Elías Calles, interview by author, Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, Sept. 2016, copy held by author; Karim Ammar (principal scientist and head of durum wheat and triticale breeding for CIMMYT), interview by author, Mexico City via Zoom, Apr. 2020, copy held by author.
14. Tore Olsson’s terrific Agrarian Crossings, an examination of cross-border exchange of agricultural knowledge and practice, brought much-needed depth to Green Revolution studies. Though Olsson claims that Green Revolution origins can be traced to the American South and small-scale tenant farmers, my research shows that, not surprisingly, the US South was not the only “domestic laboratory for the Rockefeller Foundation’s ‘green revolution’ in Mexico.” Moreover, Sonoran farmers were as influential, if not more so, in shaping how the Rockefeller Foundation came to understand the figure of a global farmer. Additionally, research into central and southern Mexican agricultural practices shows that many of the ideas that came to be associated with the Green Revolution had long existed in Mexico but came to be branded as imported knowledge during the initial years of the Mexican Agricultural Program. Tore C. Olsson, Agrarian Crossings: Reformers and the Remaking of the US and Mexican Countryside (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017).
15. Much has been written about two car rides in the 1940s that cemented the need for US technical assistance and influenced how the Mexican countryside—and its potential—would be understood by foreigners. The first was the tour by Vice President-elect Henry Wallace, accounts of which described a technology-poor countryside with low crop yields linked to the legacy of an oppressive hacienda system. The second was “the journey of the ‘three ancients,‘” Elvin Stakman, Paul Manglesdorf, and Richard Bradfield. Yet beginning the story of agricultural research in Mexico with these trips braids a philanthropic interpretation to the narrative of scientific pursuits. In other words, it paints domestic Mexican agricultural science and its scientists as lacking and in need of imported American expertise. See Joseph Cotter, Troubled Harvest: Agronomy and Revolution in Mexico, 1880-2002 (Westport: Preager, 2003); Deborah Fitzgerald, “Exporting American Agriculture: The Rockefeller Foundation in Mexico, 1943-53,” Social Studies of Science 16, no. 3 (Aug. 1986): 457-83; David A. Sonnenfeld, “Mexico’s Green Revolution, 1940-1980,” Environmental History Review 16, no. 4 (Nov. 1992): 28-52; Nick Cullather, The Hungry World: Cold War America’s Aid Projects in Asia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010); and for popular audiences, Noel Vietmeyer, Borlaug, Vol. 2, Wheat Whisperer, 1944-1959 (Virginia: Bracing Books, 2009). Aboites Manrique’s Una Mirada Diferente de la Revolución Verde seeks to highlight Mexican contributions to agricultural science before the creation of the Mexican Agricultural Program, and Tore Olsson, though still focusing on cross-border exchange in Agrarian Crossings, traces some development ideas not to a Mexican but to a rural southern countryside. Gilberto Aboites Manrique, Una Mirada Diferente de la Revolución Verde (Ciudad de México: Plaza y Valdés Editores, 2002); Olsson, Agrarian Crossings.
16. Gabriela Soto Laveaga, “Largo Dislocare: Connecting Microhistories to Remap and Recenter Histories of Science,” History and Technology 34, no. 1 (2018): 21-30; and Gabriela Soto Laveaga, “Beyond Americans in the Fields: The Socialist Origins of the Green Revolution,” History and Technology (forthcoming).
17. George J. Harrar, “Draft of ‘Agriculture and the Rockefeller Foundation,‘” 100 Years: The Rockefeller Foundation, https://rockfound.rockarch.org/digital-library-listing/-/asset_publisher/yYxpQfeI4W8N/content/draft-of-agriculture-and-the-rockefeller-foundation- (accessed May 17, 2017).
18. Robert D. Osler et al., “Cronología de la evolucion y desarrollo del CIMMYT” (1978), p. 13.
19. Historians have examined research agendas of crop breeders affiliated with Mexico’s Institute of Agricultural Research (IIA) and the Office of Special Studies (OSS) and how they differed in their interpretation of plant breeding. The two camps could be divided into those who sought “seeds for farmers” and those who sought “seeds for agribusiness [empresarios].” See Aboites, Una Mirada, 78; and Karin Matchett, “At Odds over Inbreeding: An Abandoned Attempt at Mexico/United States Collaboration to ‘Improve’ Mexican Corn, 1940-1950,” Journal of the History of Biology 39 (2006): 345-72.
20. Aboites, Una Mirada, 85.
21. Aboites, Una Mirada, 85; and Francisco J. Ayala, Ana Barahona Echeverría, and Susana Pinal, La Genética en México: institucionalización de una disciplina (Ciudad de México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2003).
22. Aboites, Una Mirada, 89.
23. As in most books, both the Yaqui Valley’s farmers and experiment station are described as “in bad shape” in Jules Janick, ed., Plant Breeding Reviews 28 (2007): 16, 25-26.
24. Rodomiro Ortiz, David Mowbray, Christopher Dowswell, and Sanjayya Rajaram, “Dedication: Norman E. Borlaug: The Humanitarian Plant Scientist Who Changed the World,” in Janick, Plant Breeding Reviews, 10.
25. Not surprisingly, many though not all of these were found in or near Mexican border states. For example, the Comarca Lagunera would later be home to cotton research stations, while a station devoted to sugarcane could be found in central Mexico, and a Mexicali-based company in Baja, La Jabonera, focused on researching cotton seeds.
26. “Letter from John Allen of Oakland, CA to General Alvaro Obregón,” Sept. 27, 1919, content dm number 2402, Fideicomiso Archivos Plutarco Elías Calles y Fernando Torreblanca, Mexico City.
27. Agricultura (Mexico: Secretaria de Agricultura y Fomento, June 1934).
28. Nicolas Ardito-Barletta, “The Costs and Social Benefits of Agricultural Research in Mexico” (Phd diss., University of Chicago, 1971), 194.
29. Ardito-Barletta, “The Costs and Social Benefits of Agricultural Research in Mexico.” Also, according to R. D. Osler, when the Office of Special Studies shut down in 1961, seven hundred fifty Mexican technicians had received training (it is unclear what the word “technician” encompassed), four hundred had graduated with master’s degrees, and an additional seventy-five obtained their PhDs. In addition to Mexican postdocs or scientists working in Office of Special Studies experiment stations, there were an additional eight to ten Latin American scholarship recipients between 1947 and 1960. See Osler et al., “Cronología de la evolucion y desarrollo del CIMMYT,” 9-13.
30. Osler et al., “Cronología de la evolucion y desarrollo del CIMMYT,” 12.
31. For a detailed description of the type of Mexican seeds, where they were planted, and which Indian researchers conducted field trials, see Benjamin Siegel, Hungry Nation: Food, Famine and the Making of Modern India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), Chpt. 6; and Saha Madhumita, “Food for Soil, Food for People: Research on Food Crops, Fertilizers, and the Making of ‘Modern’ Indian Agriculture,” Technology and Culture 54, no. 2 (2013): 289-316.
32. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 20.
33. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 20-21.
34. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 32.
35. Janick, ed., Plant Breeding Reviews, 25.
36. In reality, India received about one hundred fifty strains of wheat from Mexico and two, PV 18 and S 227, were selected by Athwal. PV 18 had red grains, but Indian farmers and consumers preferred an amber-colored grain. See “New Varieties of Miracle Wheat,” Times of India, Feb. 7, 1971. For the quote, see, “India’s Food: A Land of Plenty,” Times of India, May 16, 1967, 8.
37. “India’s Food.”
38. “India’s Food.”
39. “India’s Food.”
40. M. S. Swaminathan, 50 Years of Green Revolution: An Anthology of Research Papers (Singapore: World Scientific, 2017), 61.
41. Swaminathan, 50 Years of Green Revolution, 7. Newspaper articles discussing Indian farmers’ embrace of new seed technologies contradict both Valdés’s diplomatic report (at the beginning of this essay) and most retellings of the early on-the-ground trials.
42. “Asunto: Aprehensión de los dirigentes comunistas (fracción de izquierda),” Octavio Paz to Minister of Foreign Relations, Jan. 6, 1965, in Octavio Paz, embajador de Mexico en la India: documentos e informes (Mexico: Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, 2014), 145.
43. Julian Rodriguez Adame, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, to Carlos Darío Ojeda, Foreign Relations, Sept. 14, 1964, III-2998-13, 6, Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, Archivo Histórico Genaro Estrada (herafter SRE, AHGE).
44. Rodolfo P. Peregrina, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrícolas to Mexican Embassy in India, Nov. 23, 1964, III-2998-13, 21, SRE, AHGE.
45. Letter from Embassy of India in Mexico to the Ministry of External Relations, Oct. 9, 1964, III-2998-13, SRE-AHGE.
46. Letter from the Indian Embassy to Mexican Foreign Relations, June 16, 1965, folder Todo lo relacionado con India, XIV-720-17, SRE, AHGE,.
47. A book that attempts to trace a longer history of connections between these two countries is Eva Alexandra Uchmany, ed., México-India: Similitudes y Encuentros a través de la historia (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1998).
48. Kamla Chowdhury, V. R. Gaikwad, and S. K. Bhattacharyya, An Organization Study of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (Ahmedabad: Indian Institute of Management, 1972); Robert Evenson, “Technology Generation in Agriculture,” in Agriculture in Development Theory, ed. Lloyd G. Reynolds (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975); Robert Evenson and Dayanatha Jha, “The Contribution of Agricultural Research System to Agricultural Production in India,” Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics 28, no. 4 (1973): 212-30; Uma Lele and Arthur A. Goldsmith, “The Development of National Agricultural Research Capacity: India’s Experience with the Rockefeller Foundation and its Significance for Africa,” Economic Development and Cultural Change 37, no. 2 (1989): 305-43; Rakesh Mohan, “Contribution of Research and Extension to Productivity Change in Indian Agriculture,” Economic and Political Weekly 9, no. 39 (1974): 97-104; Ingrid Palmer, Science and Agricultural Production (Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, 1972); Benjamin Peary Pal,. ed., 50 years of Agriculture Research and Education, Organization and Growth I: ICAR (New Delhi: Indian Council of Agricultural Research [ICAR], 1979); Martin Piñeiro and Eduardo J. Trigo, eds., Technical Change and Social Conflict in Agriculture: Latin American Perspectives (Boulder, CO: Westview Press 1983); Rajeswari S. Raina, The Evolution of Indian Agricultural Research: Organizational Insights, ISNAR Discussion Paper No. 96-2 (The Hague: International Service for National Agricultural Research [ISNAR], 1996); Rockefeller Foundation, Science for Agriculture: Report of a Workshop on Critical Issues in American Agricultural Research, Winrock International Conference Center, Arkansas, June 14-15, 1982 (New York: Rockefeller Foundation, 1982); Susan Rose-Ackerman and Robert Evenson, “The Political Economy of Agricultural Research and Extension: Grants, Votes and Reappointment,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 67, no. 1 (1985): 1-14; Saha, “Food for Soil, Food for People”; Madhumita Saha, “State, Scientists, and Staple Crops: Agricultural ‘Modernization’ in Pre-Green Revolution India,” Agricultural History 87, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 201-23; Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, “Scientific Implications of HYV Program,” Economic and Political Weekly 4, no. 1 (1969): 67-75.
49. Octavio Paz to the Minister of Foreign Relations, Mexico City, Nov. 21, 1966, Topográfica III-2820-11 Mexico India, Octavio Paz Embajador, 1966-1967, p. 85, SRE, AHGE.
50. Haldore Hanson, the Ford Foundation’s representative in Pakistan, convinced the foundation to finance a wheat research and production program in the country. In 1964, with backing from Pakistan’s government, the Accelerated Wheat Improvement Program was started in West Pakistan. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and CIMMYT, Wheat Research and Development in Pakistan (Mexico: CIMMYT, 1989), 32-33.
51. Narváez would go on to have a significant international career in sustainable agriculture, including serving as program director of Sasakawa-Global 2000, a 1980s agricultural project in Sudan. In that capacity, he spoke widely about food supply, science, and hunger. He commented on, for example, a paper presented by economist Amartya K. Sen on hunger and economics. Brian W. J. LeMay, Science, Ethics, and Food: Papers and Proceedings of a Colloquium Organized by the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988), 71-74.
52. Hearings Before the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs of the United States Senate second Session, Par 1—Famine and the World Situation, Washington, DC (June 14, 1974), Series 74/nnp-1:215, cited in Don Paarlberg, “Norman Borlaug—Hunger Fighter,” (US Foreign Economic Development Service, USDA with USAID, Dec. 1970), 251.
53. Some of the initial findings of best seed selections not only in Pakistan but also in India were detailed in Charles F. Krull, Angel Cabrera, Norman Borlaug, and Ignacio Narváez, “Results of the Second International Spring Wheat Yield Nursery, 1965-1966,” Research Bulletin No. 11 (Mexico: CIMMYT, Aug. 1968).
54. Octavio Paz to the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Apr. 19, 1965.
55. Founded by presidential decree, the initial agreement that launched CIMMYT was signed on Oct. 25, 1963, by Julián Rodriguez Adame, representing the Ministry of Agriculture, and George Harrar, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation. CIMMYT, México y el CIMMYT (El Batan, Mexico: CIMMYT, 1984), 2.
56. Octavio Paz to the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Apr. 19, 1965.
57. Leon Hesser, The Man Who Fed the World: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug and His Battle to End World Hunger (Dallas: Durban House, 2006), 64.
58. Octavio Paz to the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Apr. 19, 1965.
59. Octavio Paz to the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Apr. 19, 1965.
60. Octavio Paz to Secretary of Foreign Relations regarding “Escasez de víveres en la India y sus repercusiones,” Memo Dec. 3, 1965, expediente 54-0/65, SRE, AHGE.
61. “India Expects Record Grain Harvest,” Kabul Times, Oct. 1, 1968, 2. The first contact that Pakistani wheat scientists had with Borlaug came eight years earlier, when he toured the country as a member of a FAO-Rockefeller Foundation team that studied wheat production in South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. The team recommended “practical training of regional wheat scientists,” and so, with Rockefeller Foundation funding, young Pakistani researchers, as well as those from other regions, began to arrive as trainees in Mexico starting in 1961. It is worth noting that all trainees, not just those from Pakistan, went home “carrying packets of seeds and the knowledge of how to use it to best advantage.” Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and CIMMYT, Wheat Research, 31.
62. It was led by president Ayub Khan, who himself was a farmer. Warren C. Baum, Partners Against Hunger: The Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (Washington, DC: World Bank, 1986), 10.
63. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and CIMMYT, Wheat Research, vii.
64. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and CIMMYT, Wheat Research, 79.
65. A few weeks later, in Jan. 1966, memos from Mexico’s embassy in New Delhi continued to highlight the hunger spreading across the country. Regarding the “lack of wheat,” an attaché reported that India seemed to have found a supply solution with the United States, but rice supplies continued to be an issue, especially because of the apparent insistence by the United States that payments for crops be made in dollars and not rupees. Other countries were intent on helping India. Brazil, for example, was willing to donate grains if India could cover the transportation costs. It, unfortunately, could not. Memo 3 de Enero 1966. Expediente 54-0, no. 16, SRE, AHGE.
66. The Statesman, Feb. 15, 1966, clipping, along with Ambassador Paz’s nearly verbatim summary, found in Topográfica III - 2820 - 11. Mexico India, Octavio Paz Embajador 1966-1967, SRE, AHGE.
67. Saraiva also makes the connection that this was not simply about agricultural output but that it was meant to propel the mechanization of rural areas with the use of fertilizers and machinery. Tiago Saraiva, Fascist Pigs: Techoscientific Organisms and the History of Facism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017), 25.
68. This article is part of a larger book project, tentatively titled “The World in a Wheat Field,” that focuses on the sociohistorical context that framed how science in the Yaqui Valley, in particular the push for hybrid seeds, was shaped by local farmers’ needs and then exported to the world.
69. After independence in 1947, the Indian government organized its economy in five-year plans. The Planning system functioned from 1947-2017, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi dissolved the Planning Commission.
70. Noel Vietmeyer, Borlaug, Vol. 3, Bread Winner, 1960-1969 (Virginia: Bracing Books, 2010), 114.
71. “Rice Sought from All Friendly Nations,” Hindustan Times, Feb. 17, 1966.
72. During this time, Octavio Paz, already internationally recognized, requested permission to accept invitations by various institutions and travel to present his poems and essays in Europe. In his stead, the embassy’s chargé d’affairs, Raul Valdés, referenced at the beginning of the article, submitted the daily memo. On both Feb. 15 and 17, 1966, Valdés wrote extensively about Mexican seeds. Curiously, while listing the many Mexican varieties on the ground, he took care to emphasize how Mexico’s contributions were “modest” yet significant. It is difficult not to speculate if there was an aim to characterize the role of Mexico as such while still insisting that it be acknowledged. Memo 3 de enero, 1966, SRE, AHGE.
73. I also found the spelling of the village as Jaunti.
74. Swaminathan, 50 Years of Green Revolution, 30.
75. Swaminathan, 50 Years of Green Revolution, 30.
76. Swaminathan, 50 Years of Green Revolution, 30.
77. Swaminathan, 50 Years of Green Revolution, 30.
78. Swaminathan, 50 Years of Green Revolution, 32.
79. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 13.
80. Swaminathan, 50 Years of Green Revolution, 29-32.
81. The journalist inquired why Jounti was selected, and the villagers repeated that they thought it was because they did not request financial subsidies from the government; that they owned between fifteen and twenty acres of land each, “which they tilled themselves,” and that the fields “were ploughed by bullocks ... which also powered the rahat or Persian wheels to draw water from wells for irrigation.” Harish Damodaran, “After the Revolution,” Indian Express, Dec. 6, 2016, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/after-the-revolution/ (accessed Oct. 6, 2021)
82. Swaminathan, 50 Years of Green Revolution, 12.
83. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 7.
84. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 15.
85. A cross between Jaipur local and C591. Other notable wheat scientists were Dr. Ekbote in Madhya Pradesh and Dr. T. R. Mehta in Uttar Pradesh.
86. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 7.
87. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 18. Strikingly, Saraiva explains that, in the Battle of Wheat, a campaign initiative was the “formation of associations and consortia of farmers financed by the state with the aim of producing and distributing new high-yield seeds.” Saraiva, Fascist Pigs, 35.
88. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 18.
89. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 18
90. Swaminathan, ed., Wheat Revolution, 68.
91. Octavio Paz to Minister of Foreign Relations, Mexico City, July 26, 1968, “El caso del trigo mexicano. Su influencia en las relaciones entre México y la India,” III-2998-13, SRE, AHGE.
92. Swaminathan, 50 Years of Green Revolution, ix.
93. Octavio Paz to Minister of Foreign Relations, Mexico City, July 26, 1968.
94. Octavio Paz to Minister of Foreign Relations, Mexico City, July 26, 1968.
95. Octavio Paz to the Minister of Foreign Relations, Mexico City, April 19, 1965, III—2998-13, SRE, AHGE.
96. Octavio Paz to Minister of Foreign Relations, Mexico City, July 26, 1968.
97. Exchange of germplasm between India and Mexico did not stop, nor was it confined to the 1960s. An especially fruitful period of exchange happened between 1981 and 1986 as part of the “Special Programme of Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Food and Technology and Agricultural Research between the Government of India and the Government of Mexico.” The long-named cooperative agreement was signed in New Delhi in January 1981 and was meant as an exchange of personnel and commodities between the two nations. For example, the year the accord was signed, a delegation of Mexican scientists visited India for ten days. The archival record does not reveal their specialty or the sites they visited, but India reciprocated the exchange with two trips in 1982 and 1984. After this, the two groups concluded that the best area of mutual cooperation and exchange was agriculture, in particular the exchange of plant germplasm focusing on native Mexican crops and plants. No mention was made in the accords of an existing history of seed and germplasm exchange between the two countries.
98. “Current topics—Overlooked?” Times of India, May 23, 1967, 8.
99. For example, a Spring 2020 PBS American Experience episode on Norman Borlaug, “The Man Who Tried to Feed the World,” continued to push this narrative, and though attempting to address the negative effects of the agricultural techniques pushed as part of development projects, the analysis remained nonetheless focused on the episode’s namesake. American Experience, season 32, episode 3, “The Man Who Tried to Feed the World,” written and directed by Rob Rapley, aired Apr. 21, 2020, on PBS, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/man-who-tried-to-feed-the-world/#part01 (accessed Oct. 6, 2021).