Green Revolution Essay
The Green Revolution refers to the period in 1960s which was characterised by the development and use of high yielding varieties (HYV) of seeds which led to phenomenal increase in the output of food crops. Increased use of fertilizers and irrigation provided the increase in production needed to make India self-sufficient in food grains, thus improving agriculture in India. Hybrid high yielding wheat was first introduced in India by Dr. Borlaug, who is also known as the ‘Father of the Green Revolution’. Also, M.S. Swaminathan and his team contributed to make it a success. It led India reach a position when it could export food crops while maintaining a huge buffer stock for native consumption.
India is mainly an agricultural country. However, the output was low due to lack of proper irrigation facilities, conventional and traditional approaches to farming, frequent occurrence of famines and lack of finance to farmers etc. Farming provided only minimum survival opportunities. Due to all these factors, India was not able to produce enough to feed its population.
In India, the HYV Programme (commonly known as Green Revolution) began in 1966- 67 with the introduction of new fertilizer-responsive dwarf wheat developed in Mexico. The Intensive Agricultural District Programme (IADP) was initiated in seven selected districts of the country (West Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, Shahabad in Bihar, Raipur in Madhya Pradesh, Thanjavur in Tamilnadu, Ludhiana in Punjab, Pali in Rajasthan and Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh). The IADP used a package programme of raising food grain production by providing loans/ subsidies, improved seeds, fertilizers and agricultural implements to farmers. Encouraged by the success of the programme, it was extended to 114 districts of the country in October 1965 as IAAP (Intensive Agricultural Area Programme). The success of this programme depended upon the availability of other material inputs such as fertilizers, irrigation and chemicals for plant protection.
Therefore, the new agricultural policy included measures like use of HYV seeds, extension of irrigation facilities with particular reference to groundwater resources, proper use of chemical fertilizers, promotion of plant protection measures, use of improved farm machineries, provision for cheap agricultural credit facilities, improvement in marketing and storage facilities, diversification of agriculture, remunerative prices for agricultural commodities and promotion of agricultural researches and training courses for better crop management. As a result of the Green Revolution, the wheat production increased from 123 lakh tonnes (1964-65) to 470.5 lakh tones (1985-86) and then to 551.3 lakh tones (1990-91).
All in all, the Green Revolution made a huge positive impact in India. It not only accelerated the agricultural production, but also created more employment opportunities, strengthened relationship between agriculture and industry, helped farmers to obtain increasing returns from agriculture, increased rural prosperity etc. Besides all these advantages, the Green Revolution has had some negative effects too. It has been found that it benefited the large farmers, while it made it difficult for the poor farmers to survive. Many small farmers were compelled to sell their holdings, thereby increasing socio-economic tensions. Also, the impact of Green Revolution is limited to a few food crops like wheat, rice, maize, and bajra leaving out pulses, oil seeds, cash crops and fodder crops. Moreover, its gains are limited to a selected region of the country, i.e. Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and some selected districts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. There is need to undertake some measures for the remaining areas in order to ensure food security for all times to come.