The world's worst
recorded food disaster happened in 1943 in British-ruled
Nevertheless, when the
However, the term
"Green Revolution" is applied to the period from 1967 to 1978 and even
into today. Between
1947 and 1967, efforts at achieving food self-sufficiency were not entirely
successful. Efforts until 1967 largely concentrated on expanding the farming
areas. But starvation deaths were still being reported in the newspapers. In a
perfect case of Malthusian economics, population was growing at a much faster
rate than food production. This called for drastic action to increase yield. The
action came in the form of the Green Revolution.
The term "Green
Revolution" is a general one that is applied to successful agricultural
experiments in many
What was the Green Revolution
There were three basic
elements in the method of the Green Revolution:
1) Continued expansion
of farming areas;
3) Using seeds with
Continued expansion of
As mentioned above,
the area of land under cultivation was being increased right from 1947. But this
was not enough in meeting with rising demand. Other methods were required. Yet,
the expansion of cultivable land also had to continue. So, the Green Revolution
continued with this quantitative expansion of farmlands. However, this is NOT
the most striking feature of the Revolution.
Double-cropping was a
primary feature of the Green Revolution. Instead of one crop season per year,
the decision was made to have two crop seasons per year. The one-season-per-year
practice was based on the fact that there is only natural monsoon per year. This
was correct. So, there had to be two "monsoons" per year. One would be
the natural monsoon and the other an artificial 'monsoon.'
The artificial monsoon
came in the form of huge irrigation facilities. Dams were built to arrest large
volumes of natural monsoon water which were earlier being wasted. Simple
irrigation techniques were also adopted.
Using seeds with superior
This was the
scientific aspect of the Green Revolution. The Indian Council for Agricultural
Research (which was established by the British in 1929 but was not known to have
done any significant research) was re-organized in 1965 and then again in 1973.
It developed new strains of high yield value (HYV) seeds, mainly wheat and rice
but also millet and corn. The most noteworthy HYV seed was the K68 variety for
wheat. The credit for developing this strain goes to Dr. M.P. Singh who is also
regarded as the hero of
Results of the Green Revolution
1) The Green
Revolution resulted in a record grain output of 131 million tons in 1978-79.
2) Yield per unit of
farmland improved by more than 30 per cent between 1947 (when
3) The crop area under
HYV varieties grew from seven per cent to 22 per cent of the total cultivated
area during the 10 years of the Green Revolution. More than 70 per cent of the
wheat crop area, 35 per cent of the rice crop area and 20 per cent of the millet
and corn crop area, used the HYV seeds.
results of the Green Revolution
1) Crop areas under
high-yield varieties needed more water, more fertilizer, more pesticides,
fungicides and certain other chemicals. This spurred the growth of the local
manufacturing sector. Such industrial growth created new jobs and contributed to
the country's GDP.
2) The increase in
irrigation created need for new dams to harness monsoon water. The water stored
was used to create hydroelectric power. This in turn boosted industrial growth,
created jobs and improved the quality of life of the people in villages.
4) Some developed
results of the Green Revolution
The Green Revolution
created plenty of jobs not only for agricultural workers but also industrial
workers by the creation of lateral facilities such as factories and
hydro-electric power stations as explained above.
results of the Green Revolution
2) The Green
Revolution was one factor that made Mrs Indira Gandhi (1917-84) and her party,
the Indian National Congress, a very powerful political force in India (it
would however be wrong to say that it was the only reason).
of the Green Revolution
1) Even today,
However, in today's
globalized economic scenario, 100 per cent self-sufficiency is not considered as
vital a target as it was when the world political climate was more dangerous due
to the Cold War.
3) Nothing like the
Bengal Famine can happen in
4) The Green
Revolution cannot therefore be considered to be a 100 per cent success.
(From Saby Ganguly,
1. What were the causes and results of the Bengal Famine in 1943?
2. Briefly describe the three basic elements of the Green Revolution in India:
3. List two positive results of the Green Revolution in India:
4. List three positive economic, sociologic, or political results of the Green revolution in India:
5. Briefly describe two limitations of the Green revolution in India:
Questions to Article 39 (Annual Editions 05/06):
6. Discuss ONE solution to the paradox that the world is producing more food than ever before, but at the same time the number of the world’s hungry is on the rise.
7. Use data to prove that world does, in fact, produce enough food to adequately feed every person in the world.
8. Explain how people still go hungry in the world, even though we produce enough for every person.
9. Discuss TWO plans devised by the Group of Eight to combat world hunger.
10. How does the recent political change in India’s government illustrate a fundamental shift in its approach to combat hunger? How successful do you think this new approach will be?
The Green revolution is the answer to the world's food supply problem. Agree or disagree.
Create a three paragraph argumentative essay that introduces the opposite point of view you are taking. Read all of the Pro and Con statements and establish your thesis (you may use the concepts presented in the statements, but you cannot plagiarize or simply rewrite the statements in your essay). Your first paragraph should explain the opposite point of view (e.g. It is commonly accepted that the Green Revolution is the answer to the world's food supply problem ...) The following paragraphs will contain your main ideas that support your position and refute the ideas presented in the first paragraph.
This technique allows the reader to see both sides of the argument. Also, by explaining the opposite position, you solidify your claims because you demonstrate that you have studied both sides of the issue and have come to your conclusions through careful analysis.