Dr Norman Earnest Borlaug is credited for the development of new dwarf variety of wheat seed which led to green revolution in India. In the drought year 1964-65, Dr Borlaug introduced the seeds of HYV seeds of Wheat (dwarf and semi dwarf varieties) in northern region of India, which resulted in tremendous increase in productivity that year.This unmatched increase in productivity in food grains was nothing less than a revolution, hence termed as Green Revolution.
What are the components of Green Revolution ?
Following are the components that led to the phenomenal success of green revolution.
1- High Yielding Varieties of Seeds: The improved varieties of seeds used in green revolution had several characteristics like shorter maturing period, increased responsiveness to fertilizers etc boosted the agricultural productivity.
2- Use of Fertilizers: HYV seeds require high amount of chemical fertilizers in order to boost productivity. Farmers were encouraged for balanced fertilizer use. Soil testing were done to know the current nutrient status of soil.
3- Irrigation: Rainfall is highly unpredictable in India. Sustained water availability to the crops is one of the prime requisite for inceased agricultural productivity.Ground water played a major source of irrigation in the areas under green revolution. Tube wells and pump sets are used extensively in the areas using HYV seeds for irrigation purpose. However, there is serious threat of ground water depletion.
4- Use of insecticides and pesticides : HYV seeds are highly vulnerable to pest attacks and growth of useless weeds which needs to be checked by proper application of pesticides and weedicides. There has been a phenomenal increase in the use of biocides in the areas under green revolution.
5- Supply of agricultural credit : The introduction of HYV seeds along with irrigation facilities and fertilizers require availability of credit to the farmers. Commercial banks, cooperative banks and regional rural banks extend loans to farmers on nominal rates.
6- Rural Electrification : Electricity makes a significant contribution in the field of agriculture. Ground water a major component of green revolution require uninterrupted supply of electricity.
7- Farm mechanization : Mechanization saves considerable amount of human labor and aids in farm operations thereby increasing productivity.
8- Rural roads : Rural roads serve as an imp component in connecting the villages to the nearby markets where farm produce can be sold.
9- Land reforms : Soon after independence, steps were taken to abolish zamindari system, raitwari system and mahotwari system. Land ceiling act was also enforced under which farmers were not allowed to hold beyond a limit of land. This resulted in redistribution of surplus land among landless farmers. Farmers worked whole heartedly which resulted in increase in agricultural productivity.
10- Command Area Development : It was a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 1975. It aimed at implementing better water management practices and efficient utilization of irrigation water.
11- Agricultural Universities: Agricultural institutes deal in research which can then be transferred to farmers for implementation. Success of green revolution can be largely attributed to such agricultural universities and institutes.
12- Consolidation of holdings : Small and fragmented land holdings were consolidated to increase the agricultural productivity.
What was the impact of Green Revolution ?
Green Revolution led to widespread impact on the economy which can be seen from the below mentioned points.
1- Increased Agricultural Productivity– Green Revolution led to phenomenal increase in the production of agricultural crops. Wheat drew maximum benefit from the Green Revolution due to which in India it is largely referred to as Wheat Revolution.
2- Industrial Growth– Green Revolution led to large scale mechanization in the agricultural sector, which led to increased demand of mechanized products such as tractors, harvesters, motors, pumping sets etc. Demand of pesticides, fertilizers etc also shot up as a result of green revolution, which led to the growth of the various industries dealing in such products. Moreover, it also led to the growth of agro based industries such as textile, sugar etc which use agricultural products as raw materials. As agricultural productivity increased, consequently agro based products also progressed.
3- Prosperity of Farmers– Earning of farmers benefiting from green revolution grew leaps and bounds as a result of increased agricultural productivity.
4- Rural Employment– As a result of multiple cropping, demand for labor force increased thus generating appreciable employment in the region under green revolution.
5- Reduction in import of food grains– Due to increased agricultural productivity, India’s dependency over food import decreased. Consequently, we became self sufficient to fulfill the need of food grains for the country.
What are the demerits of Green Revolution ?
1- Crop imbalances– Some crops benefited more than other, wheat being at the maximum advantage. This is due to unavailability of High Yielding Variety (HYV) Seeds of other crops. As a result of which, farmers tend to adopt only those varieties that are high yielding and leave the low yielding varieties which lead to crop imbalance. Foe e.g HYV of Rice and Wheat are readily available in the market which are being adopted by farmers for cultivation. However HYV seeds of cotton, jute are unavailable which results in their low productivity, are being less adopted by farmers for cultivation. This has led to dis balanced growth of Indian agriculture.
2- Regional Disparities – Green revolution has not touched the entire Indian sub continent. It has mostly benefited northern India, particularly Punjab, Haryana, U.P, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Large parts of India are still untouched by green revolution. As a result of which regional disparities has aggravated.