The Green Revolution | A Review| Sumit Shah, SYBCom. Honours| Table of Contents| Sr. No| Particulars| Page No. | 1. | Introduction| 3| 2. | Causes| 4| 3. | Intense Agricultural District Program * Continued expansion of farming areas * Double-cropping existing farmland * Irrigation * Using seeds with improved genetics * Fertilizers * Food Corporation of India and the Agriculture Prices Commission * Research, Education, and Extension| 77889910| 4. Positive Effects * Increase in Production / Yield * Economic and Political Impact * Better land use by employing two and three crop pattern * Better scientific methods * New seeds and other product developments| 1113141416| 5. | Adverse Effects * Degradation of land * Pest infestation has gone up * Loss of bio diversity * Chemicals in water * Water table has gone down * Loss of traditional seeds and myths of the new variety * Regional Disparities| 17171818191920| 6. | Conclusion| 21| 7. | Acknowledgements and Reference | 22| Introduction
The President of India in his address to the nation on the 50th year of India’s independence mentioned several landmark scientific achievements. The most important of all the achievements would be that of near self-sufficiency in food and the agricultural transformation in the country. This was primarily due to the series of agricultural changes that happened in agricultural production after 1965 and was called “Green Revolution”. This achievement occurred during Indira Gandhi’s tenure as Prime Minister. Between 1947 and 1967, efforts at achieving food self-sufficiency were not entirely successful.
The Green Revolution was officially known as the Intense Agricultural District Programme (IADP), aimed at converted India from a country in need of food aid from outside, to a major exporter of food. It was implemented under the 4th Five Year Plan. However, the term “Green Revolution” is applied to the period from 1967 to 1978. India was a very high importer of food grains to meet the every rising hungry population. During 1966, India imported a total of 10 million tonnes of food grains. However, one-fifth of the population did not have physical and economic access to food. Now, this whole scenario has changed.
India’s food-grains production has hovered around a fifth of a billion tonnes mark in recent years. This is more than sufficient for India’s needs hence India frequently exports its surpluses. In 55 years India has emerged from famine ridden colonial times, to becoming a famine free Republic even though its population has nearly tripled in that period. More significantly, India during the partition of 1947 lost some of its most fertile lands in the form of the Sindh province in Pakistan. But India has managed to withstand all these difficulties and achieved its objective of food self sufficiency.
India was the greatest success story of the Green Revolution. Green Revolution refers to a series of research, development, and technology transfer initiatives, occurring in the late 1960s that increased agriculture production around the world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s. The initiatives involved the development of high-yielding varieties of cereal grains, expansion of irrigation infrastructure, modernization of management techniques, distribution of hybridized seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides to farmers.
In India this movement was spearheaded by Dr. M. S. Swaminathan. In this report we will analyze the reasons and events leading to the implementation of Green Revolution in India. We will also study the positive and negative impact of this movement. Causes After the partition in 1947, India had to fight two major wars with Pakistan in 1948 and China in 1962. This put a lot of strain on the country’s already poor resources. It was never self sufficient in food. Even before the partition a huge famine had struck West Bengal in 1943.
It is estimated that around 3 million Indians died from starvation and malnutrition during the period making the number of Indian deaths higher than the two world wars, the entire independence movement and the massive carnage that followed Partition of India. The threat of famine did not go away even after India’s Independence from the British in 1947. India faced a number of threats of severe famine in 1967, 1973, 1979 and 1987 in Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Gujarat respectively. However these did not generate in to famines due to timely government intervention.
At that time, India was unable to be food self-sufficient because of its out dated farming techniques and over dependence of farmers on the monsoon. The agricultural growth rate could not keep up with the growth in population. The country’s north also faced year to year variation in precipitation and resultant fluctuations in harvests. In countries like India, dependent as they are on vagaries of the monsoon, even one year of drought can, depress the production very substantially and also dry up the reserves and pipelines stocks.
A second successive year of drought not only further depresses the production, but there is hardly anything left in the private or government stocks and this leads to sever food shortage. The situation then becomes ripe for a famine. The problem was further compounded earlier due to lack of transportation facilities and even if there were surplus food grains stocks in one part of the country, it would not be possible to transfer huge stocks from such parts to distressed areas. The partition of the country in 1947 left India with 82% of the total population of undivided India but only 75% of the cereal production.
The surplus province of Punjab was partitioned and West Punjab, which had a well-established network of irrigation canals, went to Pakistan while Sindh which too was a surplus province also went to Pakistan. These two provinces together used to supply about one million tonnes of food grains to other provinces in undivided India. At the time of independence, thus, the new nation India started its tryst with destiny with numerous handicaps as far as food security was concerned. The country imported 25. 4 million tonnes of food grains between 1961 and 1965, and 19 million tonnes in just two years, 1966 and 1967.
The import of food grains was about 10 per cent of the indigenous production and the population of the country was 480 million. In 1965 the total food grain production was 78. 2 million tonnes. It had to import close to 8 million tonnes to meet the demand. The average per capita availability was 175. 3 kgs. It was not surprising that Former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri gave a call to the countrymen to skip one meal every week. Before the comprehensive policy of Green Revolution the government made many failed attempts to improve food production.
One such attempt was the Farming Systems Research (FSR) initiative. The problem with the initiative was that, although the project did make attempts to consult with the small-scale farmers of developing countries, it was still essentially the scientists who developed the ‘solutions’. It did not allow the small-scale farmers to influence the design of the project nor did it respect the farmers’ abilities to innovate. Having fallen drastically short of its great expectations, the project was eventually abolished in the early 1990s.
Therefore to achieve food sufficient and reduce the dependence on imports former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi launched The Intensive Agriculture District Programme (IADP) as the first major experiment in intensive agriculture development in the year 1960. Intense Agricultural District Program The Green Revolution initiated by Indira Gandhi was the unofficial name given to the Intense Agricultural District Program, which ultimately resulted in tripling of production while retaining a relatively stable yield.
The Intensive Agriculture District Programme (IADP) was launched as the first major experiment in intensive agriculture development in the year 1965. The main reason for this was the inadequate rate of growth of agriculture during 1950s was a matter of serious concern to the government. The steep fall in crop production in the drought year 1957-58 focused attention on the seriousness of the food situation up substantially. In these circumstances, the government of India invited a team of agriculture experts sponsored by the Ford Foundation to make a careful study of Indian agriculture and make recommendations future actions.
The team visited India early in 1959 and submitted its report entitled “India’s food crisis and steps to meet it” in April that year. The team observed that India is facing a crisis in food production. The crux of the problem is inadequate food for the rapidly increasing population. The team went on to say that this target (of 110 million tonnes) can be achieved only if an all out emergency food production programme was undertaken. The Government of India accepted in general, the recommendations made by this team. The IADP was launched in these districts in 1960 – 61 and four districts in 1962 – 63. The seven districts were: 1.
Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu) 2. West Godavari (Andhra Pradesh) 3. Shahabad (Bihar) 4. Raipur (Madhya Pradesh) 5. Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh) 6. Ludhiana (Punjab) 7. Pali (Rajasthan) This program was later extended to the whole country but still the government focused on its ‘Food Basket’ states namely Punjab and Haryana. The major objectives of the programme was to demonstrate the most efficient way of achieving rapid and significant increase in agriculture production through adoption of a package of improved practices and to suggest successful and adoptable innovations, approaches and procedures which could be adopted in similar areas of the country.
The programme envisaged the selection of favourable areas for maximum irrigation facilities and minimum of natural hazards, providing simultaneously all the essential elements of production such as adequate supply of fertilizers credit etc. It aimed at an integrated and intensified approach to the problem of agricultural production in areas which are more responsive to such production efforts. As its immediate goal, the programme sought to achieve rapid increase in the level of agricultural production through a concentration of financial technical, extension and administrative resources.
In the long run, it aimed at a self – generating breakthrough in productivity and raising the production potential by stimulating the human and physical process of change. It covered all the important cash crops grown in the districts although emphasis was to be laid on the major food – grain crops such as paddy, wheat and millets. The program operated under the premise that concentrating scarce inputs in the potentially most productive districts would increase farm-crop yield faster than would a wider but less concentrated distribution of resources in less productive districts.
Among these inputs were technical staff, fertilizers, improved seeds, and credit. Under the technical guidance of American cooperative specialists, the program placed unusual emphasis on organizational structures and administrative arrangements. For the first time, modern technology was systematically introduced to Indian farmers. Within a decade, the program covered fifteen districts, 28,000 villages, and 1 million inhabitants. The government focused on many areas and took various steps to improve the food production in India. They were – 1. Continued expansion of farming areas . Double-cropping existing farmland 3. Irrigation 4. Using seeds with improved genetics 5. Fertilizers 6. Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the Agriculture Prices Commission 7. Research, Education, and Extension 1. Continued expansion of farming areas The government was trying to increase the area of land under cultivation right from 1947. But it was not very successful and it could not meet with rising demand. Other methods were required. Yet, the expansion of cultivable land also had to continue. So, the Green Revolution continued with this quantitative expansion of farmlands.
The government took major steps to stop desertification of fertile land in the Rajasthan region. To further increase the area of land under cultivation the government launched specialized programs in the late 1990s. These were introduced during the Fifth Five year Plan. Among them were the Small Farmers Development Agency, Minimum Needs Programme, Hill Area Development Programme, and Drought-Prone Areas Programme. 2. Double-cropping existing farmland Double-cropping is a primary feature of the Green Revolution that helps improve food production.
Instead of one crop season per year, the government encouraged farmers to have two crop seasons per year. The one-season-per-year practice was based on the fact that there is only natural monsoon per year. Majority of the Indian agriculture depends on the yearly South West Currents that bring water laden winds to the Indian Sub continent. Hence for the second crop to grow the government had to build huge irrigation facilities. Dams were built to arrest large volumes of natural monsoon water which were earlier being wasted.
Simple irrigation techniques like bore well, small earthen check dams and other rain water harvesting techniques were also adopted. 3. Irrigation Except in South-eastern India, which receives most of its rain from the northeast monsoon in October and November, dry land cultivators place their hopes for a harvest on the southwest monsoon, which usually reaches India in early June and by mid-July has extended to the entire country. There are great variations in the average amount of rainfall received by the various regions-from too much for most crops in the eastern Himalayas to never enough in Rajasthan.
Season-to-season variations in rainfall vary. The consequence is bumper harvests in some seasons, crop-searing drought in others. Hence keeping this in mind the government gave great priority to building irrigation facilities. Since 1951, more than 50 percent of all public expenditures on agriculture have been spent on irrigation alone. The land area under irrigation expanded from 22. 6 million hectares in FY 1950 to 59 million hectares in FY 1990, an increase of 161 percent in four decades. This increase was about 33 percent of the estimated potential.
The overall strategy has been to concentrate public investments in surface systems, such as large dams, long canals, and other large-scale public works requiring huge outlays of capital over a period of years, and in deep-well projects that also involve large capital outlays. Shallow-well schemes and small surface-water projects, mainly ponds (called tanks in India), have been supported by government credit but were otherwise installed and operated by private entrepreneurs. Roughly 42 percent of the net irrigated area in FY 1990 was from surface water sources.
Tanks, step wells, and tube wells provided another 51 percent; the rest came from other sources. Between 1951 and 1990, nearly 1,350 large- and medium-sized irrigation works were started, and about 850 were completed. The most ambitious of these projects was the Indira Gandhi Canal (IGNP). It starts from the Harike Barrage at Sultanpur, a few kilometers below the confluence of the Sutlej and Beas rivers in Punjab state. It runs south-southwest in Punjab and Haryana but mainly in Rajasthan for a total of 650 kilometers and ends at Ramgarh, near Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan. Its construction started on the 31st March, 1958.
It was built with the aim of converting part of the Thar Desert from wasteland to agriculturally productive land. It uses water released from the Pong dam and provides irrigation facilities to the north-western region of Rajasthan, a part of the Thar Desert. It consists of the Rajasthan feeder canal (with the first 167 km in Punjab and Haryana and the remaining 37 km in Rajasthan) and 445 km of the Rajasthan main canal which is entirely within Rajasthan. The IGNP traverses seven districts of Rajasthan: Barmer, Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Sriganganagar. . Using seeds with superior genetics This was the scientific aspect of the Green Revolution. The Indian Council for Agricultural Research developed new strains of high yield value (HYV) seeds, mainly wheat and rice but also millet and corn. The most noteworthy HYV seed was the K68 variety for wheat. The credit for developing this strain goes to Dr. M. P. Singh who is also regarded as the hero of India’s Green Revolution. There has been a gradual shift in the plant morphology and other features due to plant breeding.
The old wheat varieties of the New Pusa series of the 1950s were looking different. Native improved wheat was sown in October/November, had long coleoptile, tall with few tillers, small ear head and less seeds per panicle. However, the grain size was large and the quality of the grain met the native food requirements. Most of them were vulnerable to the three rust diseases and suffered heavily. The new HYV released since 1965 are about 90 cm tall, have better resistance to diseases. Over the years there has been a marginal increase in the number of grain produced/m2 of area.
Availability of good quality seed of the recent variety is an important factor in production increase. The seed source is invariably the carry over seed of the farmers, horizontal purchase from farmer to farmer and replacement with certified/truthfully labeled seed produced by the federal or state agencies. 5. Fertilizers With the intensive cultivation and area expansion under High Yield Varity of rice and wheat there was a sudden demand for chemical fertilizers and farm machinery. Of the various sources of nitrogen, in the northern states urea is the most preferred being the cheapest.
During the Green Revolution period the cropping intensity also increased due to the availability of seeds of several crop varieties of varying maturity period. The term “high-yielding varieties” is a misnomer, because it implies that the new seeds are high yielding of themselves. The distinguishing feature of the seeds, however, is that they are highly responsive to certain key inputs such as fertilizers and irrigation water. The term “high responsive varieties” is thus more appropriate. The government took various steps to ensure adequate supply of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides for it farmers.
India has been providing farmers with heavily subsidized fertilizer for more than three decades. 6. Food Corporation of India and the Agriculture Prices Commission The next and a very important landmark was the setting up of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the Agriculture Prices Commission in 1965. The FCI was set up to provide price support to farmers by purchasing quantities that could not fetch minimum support prices in the market, store the grains scientifically, move grains from surplus to deficit areas and make available gains to states to feed the public distribution system.
The Agricultural Prices Commission (now known as the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP),is a body on which farmers are represented, was set up to advise the Government on price policy for agricultural commodities. The Commission was, inter alia, to keep in view the need to provide incentives to producers for adopting technology for enhanced production; to nsure rational utilisation of land and other productive resources; to take account of the likely effect of the prices on the rest of the economy, broadly on the cost of living, level of wages, industrial cost etc. and to also keep in view the terms of trade between the agricultural sector and the non agricultural sector. These two vital instruments of food policy have come to stay since 1965 and have contributed greatly to the present day situation when India can take pride in having achieved self sufficiency in food grains and banished famines and starvations.
To the extent the country acquired self sufficiency, the food security-at least at the national level, has also gone up dramatically but before we go on to that, it will be better to examine as to how this self sufficiency was dependent on the fluctuations in the agricultural production, which itself was very much influenced by the behaviour and quantum of the monsoon rains. 7. Research, Education, and Extension The government has undertaken a wide variety of programmes in agriculture to build up the physical and information infrastructure necessary for sustained development.
There are programs for the betterment of the rural population; research, education, and extension programs; irrigation development schemes; plans to increase the supply of agricultural inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides; plans to change the institutional framework of land ownership; plans to improve agricultural financing; better marketing techniques; and plans to improve technology. These programs are administered, financed, and run by the central government and by the state governments, and both levels encourage private-sector development through direct or indirect programs.
Some of the specialized programs in place in the 1990s were introduced during the Fifth Plan. Among them were the Small Farmers Development Agency, Minimum Needs Programme, Hill Area Development Programme, and Drought-Prone Areas Programme. Agricultural, animal husbandry, and forestry research is conducted under the auspices of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, central research institutes, and various commodity committees. The council had forty-six institutes in operation in 1992. India’s largest such institute is the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, established in 1905 at Pusa, Bihar.
Because of an earthquake at Pusa, the research institute moved to New Delhi in 1936. The institute was later accorded university status. In addition to these agricultural research and education institutions, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research also has a large network of organizations to disseminate agricultural technology information. In the mid-1990s, there were national centers used to demonstrate new crop varieties and production technologies in forty-eight districts throughout the country. There also were seventy nationwide coordinated research projects operating at 120 centers to test specific production technologies.
Positive Effects India’s Green Revolution was the comprehensive efforts made by the government in 1965. These included the introduction of high-yielding varieties of seeds and the increased use of fertilizers and irrigation. The program began to show results in a few years itself. Though most of them have helped India achieve self-sufficiency in food production, there were a few ill effects also of this movement. Some of the positive effects were: 1. Increase in Production / yield 2. Economic and Political Impact 3. Better land use by employing two and three crop pattern 4.
Better scientific methods 5. New seeds and other product developments 1. Increase in Production / Yield The major benefits of the Green Revolution were experienced mainly in northern and north-western India between 1965 and the early 1980s. The program resulted in an increase in the production of food grains; this was mainly wheat and rice. Food-grain yields continued to increase throughout the 1980s, but then growth started stagnating. By FY 1980, almost 75 percent of the total cropped area under wheat was sown with high-yielding varieties and rice the cropped area was 45 percent.
After the 1980s, the area under high-yielding varieties continued to increase, but at a slower growth rate. The eighth plan aimed at making high-yielding varieties available to the whole country and developing more productive strains of other crops. The average rate of output growth since the 1950s has been more than 2. 5 percent per year and was greater than 3 percent during the 1980s, compared with less than 1 percent per annum during the period from 1900 to 1950. In the table below, we notice that in the year 1965 the net production was 78. 1 million tones and the shortfall of 7. 8 million tonnes was met by imports. After 25 years of reforms there was a massive change in the production of grains. It stood at a whooping 154. 3 million tonnes almost double that of the pre reform period. India was food sufficient and we could even export 0. 6 million tones that year. This established India as one of the world’s biggest agricultural producers. No other country in the world which attempted the Green Revolution recorded such level of success. India also became an exporter of food grains around that time.
PRODUCTION AND AVAILABILITY OF ALL FOOD GRAINS AT ALL INDIA LEVEL | (in million tonnes)| (in Kg. )| Year| Net Production| Net Imports| Change in Govt. Stocks| Per Capita availability per annum | 1951| 48. 1| 4. 8| 0. 6| 144. 1| 1965| 78. 2| 7. 4| 1. 0| 175. 3| 1967| 65. 0| 8. 7| 0. 2| 146. 5| 1971| 94. 9| 2. 0| 2. 6| 171. 1| 1976| 105. 9| 0. 7| 10. 7| 155. 3| 1986| 131. 6| 0. 6| – 1. 6| 163. 7| 1988| 122. 8| 3. 4| – 4. 6| 163. 7| 1989| 148. 7| 1. 2| – 2. 7| 180. 5| 1990| 149. 7| 1. 3| 6. 2| 173. 9| 1991| 154. 3| – 0. 6| – 4. 3| 186. 5| 1992| 146. 2| 0. 8| – 3. 5| 173. 9|
Source: Economic Survey, Govt. of India, 1993-94 1991-92. The growth in food-grain production occurred in a series of spurts depending mostly on the weather, input availability, and price policy. Since FY 1967, the growth in yields is mainly due to the opportunities opened up by new seed, water, and fertilizer technology. The total number of hectares under cultivation increased by 31 percent over a period of 45 years ie from FY 1950 to FY 1990. Around 33 percent of cropland was given over to rice, about 29 percent to coarse grains, and the rest evenly divided between wheat and pulses.
Rice is India’s most widely used crop and is also the staple food of the people of the eastern and southern parts of the country. Production increased from 53. 6 million tonnes in FY 1980 to 74. 6 million tonnes in FY 1990, a 39 percent increase over the decade. By FY 1992, rice production had reached 111 million tonnes, second in the world only to China with its 182 million tons. Since 1950 the increase has been more than 350 percent. Most of this increase was the result of an increase in yields; the number of hectares increased only 40 percent during this period.
Yields increased from 1,336 kilograms per hectare in FY 1980 to 1,751 kilograms per hectare in FY 1990. The per-hectare yield increased more than 262 percent between 1950 and 1992. Wheat, which is the staple diet of the northern region of the country, showed an 843 percent increase in production, from nearly 6. 5 million tonnes in FY 1950 to 54. 5 million tonnes in FY 1990 to 56. 7 million tonnes in FY 1992. Most of this higher production was the result of an increase in yields that went from 663 kilograms per hectare in FY 1950 to 2,274 kilograms in FY 1990.
Along with the excellent performance in yields, improved wheat production resulted from an increase in the area planted from nearly 9. 8 million hectares in FY 1950 to 24. 0 million hectares in FY 1990. Before the Green Revolution, coarse grains showed satisfactory rates of growth but afterward lost cultivated areas to wheat and rice, and their growth declined. The area sown with coarse grains increased from FY 1950 to FY 1970 by roughly 20 percent but declined subsequently up to the early 1990s. 2. Economic and Political Impact The farmers felt the greatest impact of the Green Revolution.
Even the small and marginal farmers got the benefit by getting better yield, control on many insects and pests, mechanizing improved working conditions. Apart from the farmers, India as a whole benefited by the initiatives of Green Revolution. Economic Impact The major economic beneficiaries of Green Revolution have been big farmers and the agrochemical industries. The continued commercialization of HYV seeds has been actively encouraged by the Word Bank. As a result of increasing dependence of farmers on high outputs, they have become increasingly dependent on those companies that manage the input of HYV (High Yielding Variety) seeds.
The World Bank has also rendered help by granting four loans to the National Seeds Project since 1969. These was a spur in the local manufacturing sector because the crop grown under high-yield varieties needed more water, more fertilizer, more pesticides, fungicides and certain other chemicals. This local industrial growth created new jobs and contributed to the country’s GDP. The increase in irrigation created need for new dams to harness monsoon water. The water stored was used to create hydro-electric power. This in turn boosted industrial growth, created jobs and improved the quality of life of the people in villages.
India, with the increase in GDP managed to pay back all loans it had taken from the World Bank and its affiliates for the purpose of the Green Revolution. This improved India’s creditworthiness in the eyes of major lending agencies across the world. Some developed countries, especially Canada, which were facing a massive shortage in agricultural labour, were so impressed by the results of India’s Green Revolution that they asked the Indian government to supply them with farmers experienced in the methods of the Green Revolution.
Many farmers from Punjab and Haryana states in northern India were thus sent to Canada where they settled. These people remitted part of their incomes to their relatives in India. This not only helped the relatives but also added, albeit modestly, to India’s foreign exchange earnings. Political Impact India transformed itself from a starving nation to an exporter of food. This earned admiration for India in the community of nations, especially in the Third World. India, with the increase in GDP managed to pay back all loans it had taken from the World Bank and its affiliates for the purpose of the Green Revolution.
This improved India’s creditworthiness in the eyes of the world. The Green Revolution was one of the major factors that made Mrs. Indira Gandhi (1917-84) and her party, the Indian National Congress, a very powerful political force in India. 3. Better land use by employing two and three crop patterns Availability of high yielding varieties of seeds, fertilizers and mechanical equipment saved on field preparation time; this promoted an increase in cropping intensity. The systems productivity was dependent on the per day productivity and was the basis for increasing the income of the farmer.
This necessitated diversification in agricultural systems and vegetable farming and animal husbandry further added to farmers’ income. Several annual crop sequences as the rice- wheat: fertilizer is also drilled on the top of the bed. During the monsoon or kharif season crops that withstand high temperature are taken up and following their harvest in October/November field become ready for seeding wheat. If the monsoon is normal, after the harvest of pearl millet / sorghum / soybean or cotton, under retreating moisture regime wheat is sown either as a rain fed crop or at best with the support of one irrigation. . Better scientific methods Since the early times, draft animals have been used on a large-scale throughout India. The use of agricultural machinery & implements, in particular, tractors, has been encouraged by the government to increase agricultural productivity. The stock of tractors increased from 8,600 in FY 1950 to 518,500 in FY 1982 and continued to grow rapidly throughout the 1980s. The number and sale of power tillers and combine harvesters produced and sold was small, with 4,678 tillers and 110 harvesters sold in FY 1988.
There was a significant increase in the number of electric pumps and oil pump sets for irrigation during the 1980s. The Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, under the aegis of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, is responsible for coordinating the manufacture and promotion of technology for small and marginal farmers. The government introduced an incentive scheme in 1990 to subsidize the cost of machinery by upto 50 percent to small and marginal farmers. Additionally, farmers’ agro service centres are being established to provide custom service for improved implements and machinery.
The Eighth plan includes a major thrust for upgrading and adopting proven technology. The rate of fertilizer consumption increased dramatically after Green Revolution, although it was still lower than in most other countries worldwide. India used only sixty-nine kilograms per hectare in 1989, ranking it fifty-sixth worldwide and below all its South Asian neighbours except Nepal. Fertilizer consumption increased from approximately 69,000 tonnes of nutrients in FY 1950 to 12. 6 million tonnes in FY 1990, and was expected to be about 13. 8 million tonnes in FY 1993.
Punjab used the highest amount of fertilizer per hectare followed by Tamil Nadu. The use of fertilizers was high in Punjab and Haryana in the north because of adequate irrigation. In the south, other than in Tamil Nadu, consumption, especially in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, was higher than the national average. The disparity in the use of fertilizers across states was decreasing, however. Cow dung is an important source of fertilizer and fuel in India. Statistics on its usage, however, are not available. Source: The Economic Survey 2009-10
The fertilizer subsidy has been growing since FY 1976. The initial subsidy was a response to the increase in the price of crude oil by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The price increase led to a rise in the cost of naphtha, which in turn increased fertilizer prices. The fertilizer subsidy increased from Rs. 600 million in FY 1976 to Rs. 32 billion in FY 1988, to nearly Rs. 44 billion in FY 1990. Plans in 1992 to cut the subsidy by 40 percent were curtailed following heavy political opposition from the major farming states. 5.
New seeds and product development The central government established the National Seeds Corporation in 1963 and the State Farm Corporations of India in 1969 to encourage production and distribution of certified seeds of various crops. Thirteen state seed corporations were established to arrange production and distribution of certified seeds. Production of breeder seed was organized by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research through interested breeders and scientists. The National Seeds Corporation and State Farm Corporations of India also produced breeder seeds.
The availability of breeder seeds increased eightfold during the 1980s, from 391. 4 tonnes in FY 1981 to 3,213 tonnes in FY 1988. The production and availability of seeds has increased enormously since the late 1970s. The distribution of certified and quality seeds showed an increase from 140,000 tonnes in FY 1979 to 568,000 tonnes in FY 1988. A buffer stock of seeds is maintained by the National Seeds Corporation for the North-Eastern states and by the State Farm Corporations of India for the other states against such unforeseen contingencies as floods, droughts, and diseases. Adverse Effects
The Green Revolution has many positive impacts which have received intense praise but it faced a large amount of criticism too. 1. Degradation of land 2. Pest infestation has gone up 3. Loss of bio diversity 4. Chemicals in water 5. Water table has gone down 6. Loss of traditional seeds and Myths of the new variety 7. Regional Disparities 1. Degradation of land Land degradation was one of the major draw backs of Green Revolution. This was mainly due to change in land use pattern and employing two and three crop rotation every year land quality has gone down and yield has suffered.
The heavy chemical fertilizer used for cultivation has made land hard and carbon material has gone down. The nutrient cycle via which nutrients are produced by the soil through plants, and returned to the soil as organic matter is replaced by un natural non-renewable flows of phosphorous and potash derived from geological deposits, and nitrogen derived from petroleum. As a result deficiency of micronutrients as zinc, iron, copper, manganese and magnesium arose. Soil toxicity arose through irrigation and high chemical fertilizer input, for example fluorine, boron, selenium and aluminium toxicity.
This rise in toxicity poses a threat to crop production, animal health and also human health. Also the heavy use of chemical fertilizers and new seeds directly led to decreased soil fertility, because the soil productivity (which also needs organic mass) was lowered and the nutrient recycling was disturbed. The results were new defenses and diseases. The drastic increase in water use has led to total destabilization of the water balance in the region. The water cycle can be destabilized by adding more water to an ecosystem than the natural drainage potential of that system.
This leads to desertification through water logging and salinization of the land. Desertification of this kind is a form of water abuse rather than water use. The rich alluvial plains of Punjab which have a very negligible slope suffer seriously from desertification induced by the introduction of excessive irrigation water to make Green Revolution farming possible. 2. Pest infestation has gone up Pests and insects which were used to control by bio degradable methods have become resistant to many pesticides and other chemicals.
Hence now these chemical pesticides have become non effective. The newly introduced wheat and rice varieties reproduced over large-scale as monocultures have come from a very narrow genetic base, compared to the highly genetic variable that was present in the populations of traditional wheat or rice plants. Because of their narrow genetic base, HYVs are inherently vulnerable to major pests and disease. As the Central Rice Research Institute, in Cuttack, concludes regarding rice, the ‘high yielding varieties’ are susceptible to major pests with a crop loss of 30-100%.
Even where new varieties are especially bred for resistance to disease, breakdown in resistance to diseases occur rapidly and in some instances replacement varieties may be required every three years or so. In the Punjab the rice variety PR 106 which currently accounts for 80% of the area under cultivation, was considered resistant to white backed planthoppper and stem rot when it was introduced in 1976. It has since become susceptible to both diseases, in addition to succumbing to rice leaf folder, pispa, stem borer and several other insect pests.
At present, rice cultivation in Punjab is vulnerable to about 40 insects and 12 diseases most of them unknown before the Green Revolution. This leads to ever increasing demands for pesticides. 3. Loss of bio diversity Diversity is a central principle of traditional agriculture in Punjab and in the rest of India. Such diversity contributed to ecological stability, and hence leads to increase in ecosystem productivity. The lower the diversity in an ecosystem; more it is vulnerable to pests and disease.
Due to heavy use of chemical pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers there has been long term damage to many birds and friendly insects. The Green Revolution has reduced genetic diversity at two levels. First, it replaced mixtures and rotations of crops like wheat, maize, millets, pulses and oil seeds which monocultures of wheat and rice. Second, the introduced wheat and rice varieties came from a very narrow genetic base. On this narrow and alien genetic base the food supplies of millions are precariously perched. 4. Chemicals in water
These chemicals which the farmers have been using in their farms go down and contaminate ground water which affects our and our children’s health. The long term exposure to pesticides such as organochlorines, creosote, and sulfate has been correlated with higher cancer rates while organochlorines DDT, chlordane, and lindane has been correlated as tumor promoters in animals. The state of Punjab pioneered the green revolution among the other states transforming India into a food-surplus country. The state is witnessing serious consequences of intensive farming using chemicals and pesticide.
A comprehensive study conducted by Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has underlined the direct relationship between indiscriminate use of these chemicals and increased incidence of cancer in this region. Increase in the number of cancer cases has been reported in several villages including Jhariwala, Koharwala, Puckka, Bhimawali, Khara. The Green Revolution’s reliance on heavy use of chemical inputs and monocultures has resulted in water scarcity, vulnerability to pests, and incidence of violent conflict and social marginalization.
In 2009, under a Greenpeace Research Laboratories investigation, Dr Reyes Tirado, from the University of Exeter, UK conducted the study in 50 villages in Muktsar, Bathinda and Ludhiana districts revealed chemical, radiation and biological toxicity rampant in Punjab. 20% of the sampled wells showed nitrate levels above the safety limit of 50 mg/l, established by WHO, the study connected it with high use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. 5. Water table has gone down Water table has gone down due to lack of water harvesting systems and now we have to pull water from an average of 300 to 400 ft. epth which was 40 to 50 feet earlier. Intensive irrigation has led to the need for large scale storage systems, centralizing control over water supplies and leading to both local and inter-state water conflicts. Despite a succession of water-sharing agreements between Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana, there is an increasing conflict over both the availability of water and its quality. In the Punjab, farmers are actively campaigning to stop the construction of the Satluj -Yamuna Link Canal which will take water to Haryana, while in Haryana local politicians are trying hard for its completion.
Since 1966, as a consequence of the introduction of the Green Revolution model of water-intensive chemical farming, India has over-exploited her groundwater, creating a water famine. The chemically modified seeds used for the Green Revolution use ten times more water than the traditional seeds and techniques. In the 1970s, the World Bank gave massive loans to India to promote groundwater mining. It forced states like Maharashtra to stop growing water-prudent millets like jowar, which needs 300mm of water, and shift to water-guzzling crops such as sugar cane, which needs 2,500mm of water.
In a region with 600mm of rainfall, this is a recipe for water famine. A new study shows that water levels in North India fell by 40mm between August 2002 and August 2008. Not only has chemical agriculture mined groundwater, but it has also mined soil fertility and contributed to climate change. Chemical fertilizers destroy the living processes of the soil and make soils more vulnerable to drought. Chemical fertilizers also produce nitrogen oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. 6.
Loss of traditional seeds and Myths of the new variety The term ‘high yielding varieties’ is a wrong name or word, because in reality the new seeds perform worse than the indigenous varieties. These seeds yield high results only if there are a set of ideal conditions present. They are highly responsive to certain key inputs such as fertilizers and water. Increasing the nitrogen uptake plants by using artificial fertilizers upsets their carbon/nitrogen balance causing metabolic problems to which the plant reacts by taking up extra water.
The farmers have started using new seeds and lost interest in the old ones once since new seeds gave better yield the old seeds have lost its importance. Also the shift from organic to chemical fertilizers reduces the plants resistance to pest attacks. Thus there is a linkage between heavy use of fertilizers and vulnerability of pests. Even those high yielding varieties of crops, which are specially bred for disease resistance, become highly susceptible to certain types of diseases when heavy doses of fertilizers are applied. . Regional Disparities Indian agriculture has witnessed tremendous changes during the last 3 decades following the adoption of green revolution technology during late 1960s. The green revolution technology was initially adopted on a large scale in the regions well endowed with irrigation. As this technology possessed vast potential for increase in productivity, it led to impressive growth in agricultural output in the regions where it was adopted.
Because the spread of green revolution technology was highly skewed in favour of certain states and regions, this led to a high growth in agricultural output in selected regions while the other regions suffered from stagnancy or poor growth in agricultural output. Consequently, the first decade following green revolution is believed to have increased interstate disparities in development and incomes. Food Grains Production (Wheat and Rice) | Million Tonnes of Food Grains| States| 1973 -75| 1980 – 84| 1986 – 90| Punjab & Haryana| 10. 0| 18. 2| 24. 0| West Bengal| 7. 5| 7. 6| 15. 4|
Bihar| 6. 5| 9. 2| 9. 8| Andhra Pradesh| 6. 0| 7. 6| 8. 8| Source: An Economic History of India (Dietmar Rothermund) In the above table we can notice a striking disparity in production. Food grain cultivation was mostly concentrated in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. The per capita food grain for this region was 0. 65 tonnes per year where as for the states of Bengal, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh combined it was 0. 15 tonnes per year. There was a near agricultural stagnation in the eastern states of India. Agricultural growth leads to social and economic development of the region.
Agricultural stagnation was one of the main reasons that led to the rise of Naxalism in those regions. Conclusion The advent of The Green Revolution has transformed India’s food security for betterment. For example, from the year 2000 onwards regularly India produced 70 MT of wheat grain per year. This amount was more than the annual domestic requirement and enabled the creation of adequate buffer stocks to thwart the drought and other calamities. The surplus grain stocks prompted India, during the years 2000 to 2004, to export 19. 87 MT of wheat. The highest volume of export of 7. 7 MT of grain was in 2003–04. We are reaping the benefit of the actions of Mrs. Indira Gandhi now. Food security is a must for a country to develop into a super power. Farmers changed their farming practices in other crops and allied animal husbandry activities. Agriculture contributed substantially to the fast growing economy and the resultant stable food prices promoted savings and opened a huge consumer market with a demand on variety of quality consumer and other products. In my opinion the growth in Indian agriculture was the launching vehicle for a strong and robust economic order in India.
With all laurels to its credit, The Green Revolution in India can rightly be called a ‘success story’. The ‘success story’ has had its share of ill effects like land degradation, over dependence on pesticides, etc, but the positive effects far outweigh the adverse effects. Hence to deal with the adverse effects, the Indian government is taking necessary steps. Earlier this year, in his budget speech, Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee announced a Rs. 400 crores scheme to take the Green Revolution to eastern India.
The practices to be followed in this second Green revolution will determine if the country learnt any lessons from the past. India’s Green Revolution has also become a successful role model for many developing nations. Acknowledgements and References I would like to acknowledge and thank Mr. Jeh Bharucha for allowing the students to choose the topic of their interest. This made sure that they gave their best work for this assignment. References: 1. Books a. Dietmar Rothermund – An Economic History of India b. Ajit Kumar Dasgupta – A history of Indian economic thought c.
Wheat cultivators in India (Compiled). Directorate of Wheat Research, Karnal 132001, India. Research Bulletin d. The Indian Farming. M. S. Swaminathan. Special issue. February 1978. e. M. S. Swaminathan 1993. Wheat revolution – a dialogue (Edited). The MacMillan India Ltd. , Madras. 2. Websites f. India OneStop – www. indiaonestop. com g. Goodnews India – www. goodnewsindia. com h. Food First – www. foodfirst. org i. Eksparsh – www. eksparsh. wordpress. com j. EduGreen Teri India – www. edugreen. teri. res. in k. About – www. geography. about. com l. Wikipedia