The Green Revolution
The green revolution began in 1943, with the help of ‘Office of special studies’, between the collaboration of Rock feller foundation and the presidential administration of Mexico. So, the roots of green revolution are in Mexico. The term was first used by USAID director William Gaud in 1968. The green revolution was the transformation, occurring as a result of agricultural research and infrastructural development. This transformation was crucial for most of the countries and started showing results.
With the efforts of scientist like, Norman Borlaug high-yielding maize and wheat varieties were developed. Also, the Mexican government invested heavily in rural infrastructural development which paid off. By 1951 Mexico became self-sufficient in wheat production and began to export.
Meanwhile, the Rockefeller foundation decided to expand or spread with the new idea (with the help of office of special studies which later became the centre for high quality seeds of wheat & maize) to other developing nations.
India is one of the countries to adopt green revolution and become successful in the Asian region. In 1961, when India was facing mass famine Norman Borlaug was invited to India by M.S.Swaminathan (then adviser to the Indian minister of agriculture),who initiated green revolution here.
After overcoming hurdles in the bureaucracy Indian government collaborated with the Ford foundation to important seeds of wheat from the research centre in Mexico and introduced it here. Due to the geographical and climatic conditions Punjab was selected as the place to try the new seeds. With irrigation, fertilizers & care the yield was increasing. Then, India began its own green revolution programme of plants breeding, irrigation development and making of agro- chemicals. India also adopted a high yielding rice variety IRS (from the international rice research institute) and tried. This too yielded more-about 5 to 10 tons per hectare of land. India became one of the world’s most successful rice producer and exporter. The export in year 2006 was 4.5 million ton. The overall benefits of green revolution were experienced in northern & north-western regions of India.
Technology wise these high-yielding varieties heavily relied on proper irrigation, nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides along with use of tractor. Cereal production increased in developing nations and greater production lead to increase in urban population which led to industrialization.
The green revolution though successful had some environmental and socioeconomic effects. Soil was being overused and polluted water table became low. In spite of the rural credits institutions; smaller farmers got into debts .Rich farmers had better access to land & credit and this led to a divide. Increased mechanization also led to rural-urban migration.
Today, the scenario is getting worse though there is no panic. People are moving away from agriculture due to the high cost of production and less profits from growing basic food crops. Farmers are in debt and resorting to suicides in many states. At present, our population growth has overtaken production growth in agriculture. It is sad that we are importing wheat from Australia now (about three and a half million ton this year). In Punjab and Haryana farmers are switching over to ‘cash crops’ like coffee, cotton and mushroom to make profits. In Kerala, too, rice production is very low, with field being convened to housing complexes. There seem to be a need of revival of this revolution with some changes.