Priyanka Bhandarkar

THE GREEN REVOLUTION:When Agriculture rebooted

The Green revolution refers to the technological advances in agriculture that changed the way farmers managed their farms.These changes allowed farmers to grow and harvest more crops with less manpower.The Green revolution first coined by William Goud demonstrated the power and influence that science and technology have over the economic,social and institutional environment within which they operate.Traditional agriculture involved few or little inputs with mother nature taking care of the crop.However at some point in history an improved method of farming arose:the Green revolution.

Firstly,breeding programmes for staple cereals to produce early maturing ,day insensitive and high yielding varieties.Secondly,the organisation and distribution of of fertilizers and water regulators and lastly the implementation of this technological innovations.

The Green revolution describes a rapid increase in the production of crops ranging from wheat to rice.It led to a boom in the agriculture industry.The beginning of the Green Revolution are often attributed to Norman Borlaug,an American scientist interested in agriculture.He is known as the father of the Green Revolution .He is credited with saving over a billion people from starvation.He developed new disease resistance high yield varieties of wheat.In India the seeds of Green revolution were first tested during the drought of 1964-65.M.S Swaminathan an Indian geneticist is known as the father of Indian green revolution for his leadership and success in introducing and further developing high yielding varieties of wheat in India.

These seeds were planted in different soils of Punjab,Delhi,Pusa and Kanpur.

The yield was over four thousand per hectare which was approximately about four times the yield of local varieties were then replicated for public cultivation.States like Punjab,Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh reaped the benefits of Green revolution in wheat,while production of rice increased in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

There are around twelve components of Green revolution such as high yielding varieties of seeds,irrigation surface and ground,use of chemical fertilsers,insecticides and pesticides,common area development,land reforms,consolidation of holdings,supply of agriculture credit,electrification of rural areas,construction of roads and markets,farm mechanism and development of agricultural universities.

These components do Not work in isolation.In fact it is the consolidated development of all these components that result in the overall development.Green revolution has influenced Indian economy to a large extent.One major problem lies in the fact that the revolution did not spread evenly to all parts of the country.

Green revolution thus increased production this bringing prosperity to the farmers.The increased production within the country made the country self sufficient and self reliant on food grains.This led to considerable decrease in the quality of import.In fact,now many times we are in a position to export.With the use of mechanized and scientific methods in farming,industries too sprang up.Tractors,harvesters,threshers,electrical motors,diesel engines,pumps etc began to be manufactured in a large scale.Besides demands for pesticides,fertilizer,insecticides increased the number of fertilizer plants in the country.Consequently there were increased employment opportunities,especially even in the rural areas.

Even though Green revolution turned out to be unique event in the history of independent India by resolving the problems of hunger,famine,and starvation.Yet it has certain drmerits.Green revolution has greatly profited the rich farmers but has failed to profit the smaller ones.It led to a change in dietary habits as fewer people were affected by hunger,many were affected by malnutrition.Such as iron and vitamin deficiencies.Also the consumption of the pesticides used to kill pests by humans in some cases may have increased the likelihood of cancer.

There are varying opinions about the effect of Green revolution in wild bio diversity.Although the Green Revolution has been able to improve agricultural output in many regions there was and there is still room for imlrovement.

This requires a second green revolution in non food crops,horticulture,and new plant varieties.Taking into consideration the criticism that the first green revolution faced;Manmohan Singh said that the second one should focus on dry land agriculture and benefit small and marginal farmers.He also spoke on the need for decentralization and inter linking of rivers for promoting rural development.

The Green revolution was a major achievement for many developing countries and have them unprecedented level of national food security.It represented the successful adaptation and transfer of the same scientific revolution in agriculture that industrial countries has already appropriated for themselves.

The Green revolution has lifted large number of people out of poverty and helped many non poor people avoid the poverty and hunger they would have experienced had the Green Revolution had not started.The largest benefits to the poor were mostly indirect in the form of power food prices,increased migration opportunities and greater employment in the rural economy.Thus,Green Revolution helped in satisfying the appetite of millions as well as relieving the economy of the country.

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