The Green Revolution of the 60s and 70s is best associated with higher yields through new innovations in agricultural science and technology. To attain its impressive results however, the new farming practices used synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides which ravaged the soil, damaged ecosystems, polluted groundwater, encouraged crop monocultures, and raised the incidence of certain diseases. The resulting land degradation fueled the search for new land and deforestation. In other words, modern intensive farming practices are not sustainable, and various experiments worldwide have tried to make them sustainable while increasing yields at lower cost — the agricultural holy grail.
Here is a promising Al-Jazeera story about "two million farmers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh [who] have ditched chemical pesticides in favour of natural repellants and fertilisers, as part of a growing eco-agriculture movement [that] has improved soil health and biodiversity, reduced costs and upped yields." Could this catch on more widely?