Question: Green revolution was a watershed moment that forever changed agriculture sector in India. Critically analyse the role of Green revolution in Indian context.
Answer: Green revolution is a term used to describe the events that led to increase in agricultural output through application of modern technology and scientific knowledge.
Green revolution had a very important role in changing situation of agricultural sector whose results we can see today but there are other issues as well.
Components of green revolution in India
- High yielding variety of seeds
Use of seed variety that are fast growing and also with high yield.
- Extensive irrigation
Use of large scale irrigation such as canals and check dams.
- Extensive use of fertilizer
Using large quantities of fertilizer to provide more nutrients to crops.
- Extensive use of herbicide and pesticides
Using huge variety of chemicals to stop growth of weeds and pests.
- Agricultural credit
Promoting formal and informal credit mechanism for farmers.
Advantages of green revolution
- Food security
Green revolution made India self sufficient in terms of food grains production. There was no need to import food grains. Every individual could be fed with locally produced grains.
Farmers could yield more produce from the same area of land in comparison to traditional agriculture. This allowed them to get more profits from less input.
- Climate resistance
Crop variety used in green revolution was more resilient to climatic changes such as high temperature or higher rainfall. This reduced losses from agriculture.
- Consumer of finished goods
Farming sector helped in growth of manufacturing industries by consuming goods faster than other sectors. Industries such as fertilizer, pesticides, pumps etc grew due to agricultural demand.
- Input to agro-industries
Agro based industries could develop faster due to higher input from agriculture sector. Food processing industries grew tremendously.
Drawbacks of green revolution
- Regional imbalance
Green revolution did not benefit all sections. Some large land owning farmers in north western region developed financially whereas marginal farmers in eastern India were left far behind.
- Exploitation of water
Use of high water guzzling variety of crops resulted in scarcity of water. Groundwater resources depleted and water crisis loomed.
- Land degradation
Excessive use of irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides etc was responsible for degradation of farm lands. The nutrients percentage decreased and productivity also decreased.
Use of extensive mechanisation led to loss of jobs in agricultural sector especially farm labourers such as sowers, harvesters, pesticides sprayers etc.
Green revolution has been replaced with Evergreenrevolution that aims to develop farming sector overall instead of just focusing on increasing commodity.
There is a need to think of alternative way to develop agriculture in a sustainable manner that benefits both farmers as well as environment.