Green Revolution in India
Part of a series on the
|History of modern India|
An increase in food production, especially in undeveloped and developing nations, through the introduction of high-yield crop varieties and application of modern agricultural techniques. The introduction of high-yielding varieties of seeds and the increased use of chemical fertilizers and irrigation are known collectively as the Green Revolution, which provided the increase in production needed to make India self-sufficient in food grains, thus improving agriculture in India. High-yielding wheat was first introduced to India in 1963 by American agronomist Dr. Norman E Borlaug. Borlaug has been hailed as the Father of the Green Revolution but Dr. M.S. Swaminathan is known as the "Father of the Green Revolution in India". The methods adopted included the use of high yielding varieties (HYV)of seeds along with the use of modern farming methods.
The production of wheat has produced the best results in fueling self-sufficiency of India. Along with high yielding seeds and irrigation facilities, the enthusiasm of farmers mobilised the idea of agricultural revolution and is also credited to M. S. Swaminathan and his team had contributed towards the success of green revolution. Due to the rise in use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers there were many negative effects on the soil and the land such as land degradation.
Measures Adopted in the Green Revolution were
- Use of High Yielding Varieties (HYV) of seeds
- Use of insecticides and pesticides
- Consolidation of holdings
- Land reforms
- Improved rural infrastructure
- Supply of agricultural credit
- Use of (chemical) fertilisers
- Use of sprinklers or drip irrigation
How the Green Revolution helped to remove the flaws of agriculture
Low Irrigation Facility
The well irrigated and permanently irrigated area was only 17% in 1951. The majority part of area was dependent on rainfall and, consequently, agriculture suffered from low level of production. The green revolution was possible due to adequate water supply through irrigation. The government undertook a number of minor, major and multipurpose irrigation projects to supply sufficient water to cultivable lands so that the dependence of farmers on rainfall reduce to great extents. The government also made provisions for digging canals hand pumps etc. for adequate and more water supply.
Frequent Occurrence of Famines
Famines in India were very frequent during the period 1940s to 1970s. Due to faulty distribution of food, and because farmers did not receive the true value for their labour, the majority of the population did not get enough food.<ref>Amartya Sen. 1981. Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation. Oxford University Press.</ref> Malnutrition and starvation was a huge problem.
Lack of Finance (credit)
Small and marginal farmers found it very difficult to get finance and credit at economical rate from the government and banks, hence, fell as an easy prey to the money lenders.
Due to the traditional agricultural practices, low productivity, and to feed growing population, often food grains were imported that drained away scarce foreign reserves. It was thought that with the increased production due to the Green Revolution, government can maintain buffer stock and India can achieve self-sufficiency and self-reliability.
Agriculture was basically for subsistence and, therefore, less amount of agricultural product was offered for sale in the market. Hence, the need was felt to encourage the farmers to increase their production and offer a greater portion of their products for sale in the market. The new methods in agriculture increased the yield of rice and wheat, which reduced India's dependence on food imports.