Green Revolution or Brown Revolution?


All that India saw was famine, starvation and death in Bengal in the year 1946. Around 4 million of the natives lost their lives due to the decrease in food production. Coupled with that, the state was stuck amid the Bengal partition and the onset of World War 2. In addition, to which the price of the crops hitched on the price chart. This situation was one of the darkest periods in Indian history which made the Indian officials bring about measures to prevent famines in the future after the Britons handed over India to Nehru. During that juncture was Green Revolution acquainted with India.

The three basic elements that were taken into account during the Green Revolution Project in the 1940s are expanding the farming areas, double cropping existing farmland and the usage of genetically improvised seeds.

The year saw the expansion of the farming lands by the British Government, which was in turn insufficient for the Indians. The Green Revolution turned its focus on escalating the lands for cultivation which met the demand of that time.

The traditional method of planting a crop per year was later reformed to two crops per year. The one-crop-per-year system was followed as the people believed the natural monsoon will be once a year. In order for the crops to thrive, another monsoon had to come for which, through advanced techniques artificial methods of water was developed which eventually led to the augmentation of production of food products. The artificial form was mostly in the form of better irrigation facilities, the usage of simple irrigation techniques and setting up of dams to store the rain water during monsoon time near the farming lands. And the real brainy work lies in the third element of using the genetically modified plants. The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) gathered twice in the year of 1965 and 1973 for discussion and came up with new genetically modified strains of rice, wheat, millet and corn.

The increase in the production of high-quality crops and modern agricultural techniques are the impacts of Green Revolution in India which have ultimately led to a state where India is now in a position of out turning more food. American Agronomist Dr. Norman E Borlaug was the one who introduced the miracle seeds of wheat which had undergone the newly invented processes. The Father of Green Revolution, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan gave an impulse to the program in India.

Till 1967, the topmost priority was to expand the agricultural farms in India. The effective practice of Green Revolution in India in between 1967-78 transformed the reputation of India. It also enhanced the caliber of the scientists and peasants through the regulation of agricultural techniques.

The then scientists of India made use of high quality producing seeds, sprinklers, land reforms, pesticides, irrigation and effectively used the chemical fertilizers for working out their Green Revolution project.

Bengal is considered to be the soil which tasted the fruits of victory for around 20 decades. The presence of affirmed irrigation to the wetlands, adoption of the foreign techniques reSulted in a humongous vanquishing stride. Suffering from drought and famine, it went on to become the rice and wheat bowl of India. Even the driest land was revamped into fertile lands. From 1104kg/ha, it produced 2238kg/ha of wheat in Punjab in the year between 1970-71, which was double the amount from normal. The diversification of crops was brought in Punjab by the committee of “Diversification of Punjab Agriculture” which was instituted in 1985. The availability of irrigation facilities and chemical fertilizers were enormous and was provided to farmers at subsidized prices as a result of which the peasants started using nitrogenous fertilizers and micronutrients and affected the soil greatly which in due course resulted in the cultivation of more crops.

The agroecosystem of the state was wobbling after a point of time due to the continuous usage of chemical fertilizers and the naturally available resources which had degraded the farming lands. Over the time, the land allocation of major crops like rice and wheat increased which had disturbed the plantation of Kharif and Rabi crops.

The positive consequences of Green Revolution are the above mentioned. Taking the concept of Sustainable Agriculture into account, it is concluded that Green Revolution is no sustainable agriculture. The usage of the simulated techniques tapered to the pollution in soil and disturbance in the ecosystem. The effect of Green Revolution on Biodiversity has led to humans becoming more prone to maladies and diseases.

The so-called High Yielding Variety seeds failed to work when there is a shortage of water and insecticides which in turn corners to the point that it wouldn’t fetch the best results to poor farmers who completely rely on agriculture to earn their bread.

Primarily, the peasants used the crops that deplete the soil that will be replaced by nutrients rich legumes over a short span of time across the Indo-Gangetic plain. This type of farming methods made sure the soil was not eroded and also procured edible plants, fruits or pulses. A perfect balance was maintained throughout the year. But after the introduction of Green Revolution, the soil soon became unfit for the cultivation of crops. The “Farmers Training and Education Scheme” became the “soil brigand.”

As a part of the Social Impact of the Green Revolution, the rich landowners became more and richer which affected the subsidy rates thereby increasing the price of subsidized products and the small scale farmers were indebted.

The demand for crops persists in India even after the Green Revolution, it is implied that Green Revolution has not given a permanent solution when it comes to the point of supply and demand, as the nation also exports large amount of crops every year and also considered as one of the largest exporter of food crops in the world. It is also declared that the state of self-sufficiency could never be achieved. The reports published by scientists shows that Green Revolution does not come under the category of 100 % success.

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