A main criticism of the effects of the green revolution is the cost for many small farmers using HYV seeds, with their associated demands of increased irrigation systems and pesticides. A case study is found in India, where farmers are buying Monsanto BT cotton seeds—sold on the idea that these seeds produced 'natural insecticides'. In reality, they need to still pay for expensive pesticides and irrigation systems, which might lead to increased borrowing to finance the change from traditional seed varieties. Many farmers have difficulty in paying for the expensive technologies, especially if they have a bad harvest.
And, while welcome for the earth’s atmosphere, China’s apparent shift is not uniformly good news in the short term. Big resource exporters, such as Australia, have for years depended on seemingly endless Chinese demand for iron ore , coal, and other minerals to fuel their own economic growth; those nations could have their fiscal health seriously threatened by a leaner and greener Chinese economy. coal companies that for years have eyed the Asian market, and especially China, as a last-ditch lifeline as coal use declines at home will also find little solace in China’s new direction.
The domestic political context should not be overlooked. As in China, the public in India is concerned about both climate change and particulate matter air pollution, much of which comes from domestic wood or other biofuel-burning cook stoves. According to recent research from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, toxic air will likely kill 30,000 residents of New Delhi in 2025. That death toll could rise to 50,000 people by 2050 without significant policy changes. With respect to climate change, 73 percent of Indians polled by Pew said they were very concerned about climate change; that number rises to nearly 90 percent in Indian states in the north, whose economies are based on agriculture fed by monsoon rains.