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THE GREEN REVOLUTION IN INDIA

(CHANGING AGRICULTURAL TRADITIONS)

What was the green revolution?

A movement starting post WWII to address food shortages in developing countries

International relief organizations invested in research to breed more productive rice and wheat crops

New agricultural technologies were brought to India- fertilizer, agrochemicals, new types of irrigation

What was the green revolution? • A movement starting post WWII to address food shortages in

Why was a revolution needed?

Famine had ripped though parts of India in the past, and many economists and agricultural scientists predicted worse famine in the future is a new plan was not put in place

Overpopulation was stretching India’s food resources

Government inability to ensure proper movement of good to areas that were in need

Why was a revolution needed? • Famine had ripped though parts of India in the past,
Why was a revolution needed? • Famine had ripped though parts of India in the past,

Causes of green revolution:

High Yielding Varieties of Seed.

Chemical Fertilizers. Irrigation.

Multiple Cropping.

Modern Agricultural Machinery.

Credit Facilities.

Agricultural Research.

Plant Protection.

Rural Electrification.

Soil Testing and Soil Conservation.

Green revolution vs. traditional agriculture

Green revolution introduced High Yielding Crop Varieties (HYCVs) to India

HYCVs required constant input of agrochemicals (pesticides etc.) and fertilizers

New irrigation techniques were implemented

HYCV seeds and agrochemicals needed to be obtained from NGOs or from large distributors

Created difficult environment for small farmers

Seed had traditionally been harvested yearly from the field, now farming required lots of inputs

Green revolution vs. traditional agriculture • Green revolution introduced High Yielding Crop Varieties (HYCVs) to India
Green revolution vs. traditional agriculture • Green revolution introduced High Yielding Crop Varieties (HYCVs) to India

Advantages of green revolution:

Yields increased three times.

Multiple cropping.

Other crops grown which varied the diet. Surplus to sell in cities creating a profit improving the standard of living.

Allows purchase of fertilizers, machinery etc.

India becomes self sufficient in food grains.

Limitation of green revolution:

The Green Revolution, howsoever impressive, but NOT a 100% success.

Only Punjab and Haryana states showed best results of Green Revolution.

The new farming techniques, has given birth to the serious pollution of drinking water causing cancer and other diseases.

Major issues

Conflict between western and traditional indigenous views

Development Science Agriculture Environment

An effort to break ecological limits that resulted in new types of insecurity and vulnerability

Political, cultural and economic issues inherent in green revolution exacerbated political, ethnic and religious tensions

A recent Punjabi University study found a high rate of genetic damage among farmers, which was attributed to pesticide use.

The new organic fertilizer, pesticides and chemicals are ruining the soil.

Lead to unemployment and Rural- Urban Immigration.

What were the political consequences?

What were the political consequences? President Truman visiting the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines

President Truman visiting the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines

Growing Fears in US about spread of communism

Food insecurity created political insecurity which could lead to communist uprisings

Part of the US strategy to combat communism was to ensure food security in developing countries

How did India benefit?

How did India benefit? • Increased Crop Yield seen in majority of HYCV areas • Large
How did India benefit? • Increased Crop Yield seen in majority of HYCV areas • Large

Increased Crop Yield seen in majority of HYCV areas

Large expansion of HYCV use continued well though the 80’s

Farms with proper use of agrochemicals/fertilizers saw dramatic increase

Benefit not seen as much in small farms

Eventually in most areas crop yield plateaued and subsequently fell

What were the ecological consequences?

Problems with soil fertility

Micronutrient issues

Increased dependence of external applications of fertilizer

Water quality issues Ecological degradation caused returns to decrease at the years went on Loss of diversity Improper application of

What were the ecological consequences? • Problems with soil fertility • Micronutrient issues • Increased dependence

Activist poster from the 1980s calling for an end to pesticide use

What were the social and political consequences

What were the social and political consequences • Changed the nature of agriculture , from internal

Changed the nature of agriculture, from internal to external inputs (buying seed, fertilizer etc) The commercialization of relationships and subsequent cultural erosion The rapid increase in grain in the first several years drove down the price of food, harder for small farmers to make a profit It increased com etition for

What were the social and political consequences

Seed and chemical distribution was controlled by the Indian government, the top-down approach created tensions in the state

Decreasing return on investments caused many farmers to blame government Increased ethnic and religious tensions Feelings of resentment among farmers

QUESTION TIME

HOW MUCH WATER IS NEEDED TO GROW 1kg OF RICE?

Crisis in Punjab

Punjab region once known as India's “bread basket”

Inhabited by Sikh minority

Crisis in Punjab • Punjab region once known as India's “bread basket” • Inhabited by Sikh

Tensions between state and central Indian government over control of agricultural economics

Increased ethnic/religious tensions

Crisis in Punjab • Punjab region once known as India's “bread basket” • Inhabited by Sikh

Crisis in Punjab

Cultural

issues:

issues:

- - commercializati commercializati on of on of relationships relationships -cultural -cultural - - erosion erosion
-
-
commercializati
commercializati
on of
on of
relationships
relationships
-cultural
-cultural
- -
erosion
erosion
-homogenized
h
m
ni
d
state and
state and
conflict
conflict
ethnic identities
Crisis in
Crisis in
- -
Punjab
Punjab
-violence
-violence
-
-
resentment
resentment

Nature of

Nature of

Economic &

Economic &

green

green

Political

Political

revolution:

revolution:

tensions:

tensions:

-conflict over

-conflict over

sharing of

sharing of

resources

resources

power between

power between

central

central

-class

-class

government

government

-pauperization

-pauperization

-top down

-top down

-declines of

-declines of

regulations

regulations

profitability

profitability

Feelings of

Feelings of

-environmental

-environmental

weakness from

weakness from

degridation

degridation

local and state

local and state

government

How does this relate to environmental history?

Changed how farmers

interacted with the

environment

Movement to high tech centralized agriculture

Commercialization of major grain seed

Illustrates relationships

between environmental

degradation and

political/social issues

How does this relate to environmental history? • Changed how farmers interacted with the environment –
How does this relate to environmental history? • Changed how farmers interacted with the environment –

Conclusion:

As a technological innovation, the Green Revolution replaced “one way of life in another in short span of two decades”.

The lesson learned from this green revolution should enable policy makers to reduce the adverse effects of the coming Biorevolution based on genetic engineering.

THANK YOU

PRESENTED BY-DEEPRAJ BEDI

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