Green Revolution in India
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An increase in food production, especially in underdeveloped 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 1968 by American agronomist Norman Borlaug. Borlaug has been hailed as the Father of the Green Revolution but 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.
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 mobilized 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 fertilizers there were many negative effects on the soil and the land such as land degradation.
Measures Adopted in Green Revolution
- 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) fertilizers
- 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.
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. 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 cheap 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 and this made the country attain food self-sufficiency.
- "Library of Congress Country Studies". U.S. Library of Congress (released in public domain). Retrieved 2007-10-06.
- Amartya Sen. 1981. Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation. Oxford University Press.