The agrochemical corporations gained their foothold in the agricultural sector in Asia through the Green Revolution spearheaded by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). IRRI was set up in 1960 with funding from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations of the U.S. as a non-profit agricultural research centre headquartered in the Philippines. It is one of the six Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centres. IRRI was set up as part of an elaborate U.S. agenda to arrest growing political and economic unrest and peasant rebellion in Asia and to open up new markets for U.S. products, business and trade.183 IRRI is presently supported by a host of countries across the globe as well as by private donors including the Bayer CropScience and Syngenta.
The goals for which IRRI was set up were realized through the introduction of the Green Revolution, which it spearheaded (IRRI describes itself as “the Home of the Green Revolution in Asia” on its website). The model of agriculture promoted by the Green Revolution was one that was capital intensive and based on so-called “modern technologies” namely, the use of heavy chemical inputs like synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, high-input seed varieties (HIVs) developed by IRRI, mechanization, irrigation systems, and monocropping.