Green Revolution In India?
The Green Revolution was a major milestone in terms of food and economic security in India.
This term refers to the rapid increases in food production, particularly wheat and rice, in developing countries such as India, brought about by scientific discovery that improved the kind of fertilizers and pesticides that farmers were using along with other inputs.
But that is not all.
The Green Revolution also paved the way for genetic engineering and the manufacturing of HYV seeds, leading to increased yields.
Who is called the father of the Green Revolution in India?
M.S. Swaminathan is the man who worked with the government to make the Green Revolution reality. He is the father of the green revolution in India.
Swaminathan was a geneticist who led the government in launching this movement in 1965. The movement lasted till 1978 and is regarded as being divided into two major parts.
The first half of the Green Revolution was majorly centered on growing important food crops like wheat and rice in certain highly populated agricultural states like Punjab and Haryana.
Later this movement was extended to other parts of the country and crop varieties. This movement transformed India from a food-deficient economy that had to import its food items to one of the world’s leading exporters of agricultural produce.
What is the Green Revolution?
The Green Revolution refers to the increase in agricultural production due to scientific advancements in our knowledge of fertilizers, pesticides, and chemical additives, along with genetic advancements so that high-yielding varieties of wheat seeds and rust-resistant strains of wheat could be produced.
Causes of the Green revolution
What led to the need for a green revolution in our country? Let us look at the impactful causes of the Green revolution.
- Till 1967, the Indian government concentrated on expanding the farming areas to bring more and more land under Indian cultivation. But they observed that simply expanding farming areas would not significantly affect how much crop was produced since India needed to catch up in food security. On top of that, even though land reforms were being made, the state of farmers still needed to improve. Bringing too much land under cultivation could affect the forest areas and decrease the environmental security of India as a nation.
- The post-independence period saw a huge rise in the population of our country. It meant India required much more productivity in food and other agricultural cash crops than farmers could present to the market. That led to food security in terms of lack of production and food insecurity because of the extremely high prices. Rising prices of food and agricultural produce were hurting the country’s economy.
- In the Indian economy, 75% of the Indian population depended on agriculture. It meant that not only was food and security affected, but employability was also at a negative standard because of the lack of being able to produce food and agriculture cash crops that could be enough for the local market and compete with the international market.
- India faced a market crash from another side since it had to import many crops from outside. Since then, India has lacked self-sufficiency regarding food at this period. One of India’s major countries from home that has to buy food grains at exorbitant prices is the United States of America. India also realized that it needed to increase productivity and the variety of products so that the economy, internally and externally, could diversify.
History of the Green revolution
The period of the Green Revolution was divided into two parts. The first face of the Green Revolution lasted from 1960 to the mid-1970s. It was mostly restricted to some affluent States such as Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamilnadu.
The main focus of this Green Revolution period was to familiarize the farmers with new and advanced agriculture tools and techniques of the modern age. During this period, the genetic engineering of crops was still in its infancy in India.
The second phase of the Green Revolution occurred in the mid-1970s to mid-1980s. In this period of the history of the Green Revolution, this technology spread to a large number of states, and more variety of crops were included in the genetic engineering and chemical agriculture processes.
It was during this period that India was able to finally achieve self-sufficiency in terms of food grains and the agriculture market.
During this period, the government also started providing subsidies to the farmers, which helped them financially.
The subsidies were provided on fertilizers and other products that the farmer was just introduced because of this revolution. Subsidies were also a way to encourage the farmer to try something she had never tried before.
Which state has the green revolution in India?
The Green Revolution started in agriculturally affluent states like Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamilnadu. Later, it expanded to other states, such as Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and West Bengal benefited from the Green Revolution. The least impacted by the Green Revolution during this period were the Northeastern states and Sikkim.
Benefits of the Green Revolution
It is now important to look at the benefits of the Green revolution in India.
Made India self-sufficient in food production
The major benefit of the Green Revolution is that it paves the way to food sufficiency in the country. Food sufficiency, in turn, led to the rise of other industries and economic prosperity in many sectors of society.
Introduced the culture of agriculture export
Agriculture export was a dream in India till the Green Revolution arrived. The rapid increase in production and the ability to produce during all times of the year made India a major exporter of food grains within a very short period.
Made farmers realize that they are liable to receive Government support
The Green Revolution’s benefits do not end at the economic and scientific perspectives alone. Farmers also benefited from the Green Revolution socially as they realized that all of them were equal in the eyes of the law, and they deserved government help in times of crisis.
Agriculture science was introduced.
After the Green Revolution, agriculture science was introduced as a legitimate field of study and various Research institutes across the country. Agricultural science developed from the Indian perspective, and new material was added to it relevant to modern society.
Financial help from banks was introduced for farmers
The government directed banks and other financial institutions to extend loans and other benefits to farmers and people in the agriculture sector. Before this, poor farmers and laborers usually relied on unofficial money lenders who charged exorbitant interest rates.
Effects of the Green Revolution
There are several effects of the Green Revolution that a student needs to understand while studying this topic.
Chemical agriculture was introduced.
Trends in chemical agriculture were thought to be life-saving initially. The overuse of chemicals can damage land and water quality and reduce the nutrients in the food grains.
Farmers had enough for consumption and sale.
Farmers having enough for consumption in the post-independence scene was a huge deal. Finally, they could have good food and then sell the surplus in the market.
The stagnation of agriculture growth was broken.
The British colonial period in India saw a major stagnation in the agricultural growth of the nation, and farmers were ridden with a sentiment of helplessness. The Green Revolution broke this pattern and brought about.
Impact of the Green Revolution
The Green Revolution’s major impacts on our country include the good and the bad. The most problematic impact of the Green Revolution points to how the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides has deteriorated water and land quality in the country. The positive impacts include the following:
- India finally achieved food security and no longer had to rely on any other country. India became known as a major agricultural nation.
- An increase in market surplus improved the economy and made it possible to extend food security to the lowest-income classes.
- Agriculture empowerment was both a financial and a social win since it recognized the importance of agriculture in the economic and traditional life of the Indian population.
- Many international manufacturers started reaching out to Indian farmers and agriculture units to collaborate with them in the manufacturing process.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of the Green revolution
There are many advantages of the green revolution, but there are no doubt many disadvantages of the green revolution.
Advantages of this revolution touch on the following factors:
Famines were abolished
A few decades before the Green Revolution was initiated, India had a devastating famine known as the Bengal famine of 1943. Famine was a reality in India before the Green Revolution. But these days, they are a thing of the past.
Wheat production increased more than three times between 1967-68 and 2003-4
Wheat production is the crop that received the most benefit from the Green revolution. Between the four decades of the 1960s and 2000, it increased by four times and eradicated several financial issues in the economy.
The per capita availability of food grains increased
The net per capita availability of food grains increased, so importing food grains was no longer important. India could use the surplus produce to market grains to foreign manufacturers and the international market.
Some advantages outweigh the disadvantages of the Green revolution. However, other negative aspects of the green revolution are more challenging to ignore.
Harmed the environment
Using chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides have caused land and water pollution in the country. Production has led to soil erosion. Contamination of natural resources because of agro-industries is also now a reality.
Subsidies manipulated the national economy.
The issue with subsidies is that they no longer let the market perform as it should. Subsidies break the link between demand and supply. Until recently, farmers depended too much on subsidies for produce.
Wide crop varieties were left out.
The HYVP, or high-yielding variety program, was restricted to five crops: Wheat, Rice, Jowar, Bajra, and Maize. The rest of the crop varieties were excluded from the Green Revolution’s benefits until recently.
Only spread to 40% of the total cropped area.
Green revolution only spread to 40% of the total cropped area in the country. The percentage of its cropped area continues to produce crops in the traditional method.
The benefits of the Green Revolution had a positive impact on the overall income of the country. It has also been the foundation on whose basis Indian living standards have improved so much in the last few decades.
It is because of the Green Revolution that so many different agro-based industries have been able to flourish in the country.
The impact and popularization of the Green Revolution have also led to the growth of other industries indirectly affected by it – machinery, construction and infrastructure, and the chemical industry of India.