Importance of Green Revolution in India
- Norman Borlaug was the driving force behind the Green Revolution in the 1960s. In the world, he is renowned as the “Father of the Green Revolution.”
- For his efforts in producing High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) of wheat, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.
M.S. Swaminathan was a key figure in India’s Green Revolution.
- Beginning in the mid-twentieth century, the Green Revolution resulted in a significant increase in food grain output (particularly wheat and rice) due to the introduction of new, high-yielding variety seeds into emerging countries.
- Mexico and the Indian subcontinent were the first places where it had spectacular success.
- From 1967-68 to 1977-78, India’s status as a food-deficient country was transformed into one of the world’s leading agricultural nations via the Green Revolution.
Features of Green Revolution in India
Short-term: During India’s second Five-Year Plan, the revolution was begun to address the country’s famine crisis.
Long-term: goals included agricultural modernization based on rural growth, industrial development, infrastructure, raw materials, and so on.
Employment: Both agricultural and industrial workers will be employed.
Scientific Research: Developing plants that can endure harsh temperatures and diseases.
Globalization of the Agricultural World: This is accomplished through disseminating technology to non-industrialized countries and establishing several firms in key agricultural areas.
- Mr. Borlaug had developed a seed that was raised in its nature of nutrients delivered to the different portions of the wheat plant—against the leaves, stem, and in favor of the grain—with the help of recurrent mutations. The plant became dwarfed, and the grain became heavier, yielding a high yield.
- These seeds were non-photosynthetic, therefore their yields were not reliant on sunlight.
- Chemical Fertilizers are a type of fertilizer that is used to increase the amount of nitrogen in The seeds were supposed to boost yield if the land provided them with enough nutrients.
- Traditional composts couldn’t provide the level of nutrients they needed since they had low nutrient concentrations and require a larger area to sow, which meant the nutrients would be divided by multiple seeds. As a result, high-concentration fertilisers were necessary, which could only be applied to the targeted seed—the only alternative was chemical fertilisers such as urea (N), phosphate (P), and potash (K).
- Irrigation (number three) A regulated water supply was required for controlled crop development and proper fertilizer dilution. It imposed two major requirements: first, the area of such crops must be free of flooding, and second, an artificial water supply must be established.
- Pesticides and germicides made from chemicals Because the new seeds were unfamiliar with local pests, germs, and diseases, pesticides and germicides were required for achieving desired results and crop security.
- Herbicides and weedicides that are chemical Herbicides and weedicides were employed while sowing the HYV seeds to prevent more expensive fertiliser inputs from being absorbed by the herbs and weeds in the farmlands.
- Credit, storage, and marketing/distribution are six of the most important aspects of the business. Farmers needed access to quick and affordable loans in order to use the new and more expensive Green Revolution inputs.
- Because the farmlands ideal for this new type of farming were region-specific (Haryana, Punjab, and western Uttar Pradesh were the only ones in India), the produced crops had to be stored in the region until they were disseminated across the country.
- Again, the countries that adopted the Green Revolution were food-insecure and need a solid chain of marketing, distribution, and transportation connectivity to ensure that the new output was spread throughout the country.
- All of this peripheral infrastructure was built by countries participating in the Green Revolution with the help of World Bank cheap loans, with India being the major recipient.
Influence of Green Revolution:-
The Green Revolution has both beneficial and negative socioeconomic and environmental effects on countries all around the world, but we’ll focus on India in particular.
1. Economic and Socio-political Consequences Many countries became self-sufficient in food (wheat in the 1960s, rice in the 1970s) and some even became food exporting countries as food production expanded.
2. However, the disparity in farmer income exacerbated inter-personal and inter-regional disparities in India. Increased malaria cases due to flooding, a shift in balanced cropping patterns in favor of wheat and rice, pushing pulses, oilseeds, maize, barley, and other crops to the margins, and so on, were all negative consequences.
Impact on the Environment
The Green Revolution’s most serious negative impact was on the environment. When the media, scholars, experts, and environmentalists raised concerns about it, neither governments nor the general public (let alone the farmers in the GR region, who were not well-educated enough to understand the GR’s side effects) were convinced. However, there came a time when the government and other government agencies began conducting ecological and environmental studies and surveys. The following are the most important ones, in order of their occurrence:
(I) Critical Ecological Crisis: Based on on-the-ground research, critical ecological crises have been identified in the GR region—
(a) Degradation of soil fertility: Due to farmers’ repetitive cropping patterns and overexploitation of the land; lack of a suitable crop combination and crop intensity, and so on.
(b) Falling water Lable: Because the new HYV seeds required such a large amount of water for irrigation—5 tonnes of water were required to produce 1 kg of rice—the water table began to fall.
(c) Degradation of the environment: Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides have degraded the environment by increasing pollution levels in land, water, and air as a result of their excessive and uncontrolled use. Deforestation and the expansion of cultivation in ecologically sensitive areas are the main causes in India. Simultaneously, animals—primarily goats and sheep—put an excessive amount of pressure on forests.
(ii) Toxic Levels in the Food Chain: The toxic level in India’s food chain has risen to the point where nothing produced in the country is fit for human consumption. Essentially, unrestricted use of chemical pesticides and weedicides, as well as their industrial production, had polluted the land, water, and air to such an alarming degree that the entire food chain had become a prey of high toxicity.
The studies and reports mentioned above were both eye-openers and a big question mark in the area of environmentally non-sustainable agriculture. As a result, agro-scientists have advocated for an evergreen revolution that is truly “green.” According to the Economic Survey 2018-19, India requires a massive shift from the philosophy of ‘green revolution’ led productivity to ‘green method’ led sustainability, such as ‘zero budget natural farming,’ to eliminate chemical pesticides and promote environmentally friendly and water-saving agronomic practices.