Q. The Green Revolution and consequent increase in agriculture produce has worked to the disadvantage of farmers. Critically analyse. (250 words)19 Jan, 2019 GS Paper 3 Economy
- A large increase in crop production in developing countries achieved by the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and high-yield crop varieties is referred to as Green revolution.
- To increase global food supply and reduce world hunger, farmers started to cultivate land using new farming techniques. These methods worked, crop yields climbed but also created a few unwanted side effects.
- Disadvantages of green revolution on farmers
- The farmers are largely dependent on the market for the supply of inputs and for the demand for their products.
- At the same time, the demand for agricultural credit has also increased as the new technology has increased the cash requirements of the farmers. Poor farmers were not able to get loans easily.
- There has been displacement of agricultural labor by extensive use of agricultural machinery and left them unemployed.
- When the green revolution strategy was introduced in the early 1960s, it was hoped that trend of raising output of food grains would continue. But sharp fluctuations of food grains output were observed in the later years and created insecurities among farmers as well as consumers.
- Technological changes in agriculture have had adverse effects on the distribution of income in rural areas. It has contributed to widening the disparities in income between different regions, between small and large farms and between landlords on the one hand and landless labors and tenants on the other.
- The hybrid crops have also created environmental impacts like soil pollution, water pollution due to excessive use of fertilisers, pesticides etc. needed by these crops.
- Advantages of green revolution
- Substantial increase in agricultural production and productivity: Food grains output increased from 81 million tones in 3rd plan (annual average) to 202 million tones in the 10th plan. In 2018 it stood at 277.49 million tones.
- The adoption of new technology has also given boost to agricultural employment because of diverse job opportunities created by multiple cropping and shift towards hired workers.
- New technology and modernization of agriculture have strengthened the linkages between agriculture and industry.
- Before the Green Revolution, the quality of a harvest was dependent upon the quality of the growing season. A poor season would always produce a poor harvest. After the Green Revolution, there has been more consistency with the annual harvest because the fields are worked in a similar way each year. Issues with moisture, nutrients, or temperature can be managed on-site, reducing the impact a poor growing season has on the crop.
- It has helped to create numerous strains of plants that are resistant to disease and pests. It makes farmers more secured financially.
- There are both positive and negative impacts of Green Revolution on farmers.
- Due to Green Revolution there was the considerable increase in the food grains production which was extremely necessary for a farmers to increase production so that agriculture become remunerative.
- Due to Green Revolution agricultural sector of India is able to meet the increasing demand for food grains. However, now is the high time to take to bring a green revolution which is farmer’s friendly also.
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