Agriculture has been the most intensive form of
economic activity leading to 12-15% of its contribution to GDP. Agriculture is
not only for sustaining the food grains and vegetation to cater to the
requirements of the growing population but has its contribution in creating
largest employment sector, fostering one large section of the Indian industry
called Agrarian Industry and has been contributing and earning foreign exchange
to our nation. Agriculture is not just grains alone, but it spreads to various
Agricultural Tertiary sectors such as Coconut Farming, Orchids and cash crops
such as Cashew Nuts, Coffee, Tea, Pepper and Vegetables.
The primary need to sustain Indian agriculture to cater
the growing requirements of the population was felt immediately after Independence.
However the nature of importance that was given to Agriculture varied from the
First Five Year plan to 12th Five Year Plan. Because in the initial years after
independence, the importance was given to setting of industry and industrial
system in India. In the first 10 years after Independence, with the continuous
adoption of primitive technology of farming the agricultural outcome was able to
meet the basic needs of the population that was growing around 2.5% annually.
It was during the 1960’s when India began to face the shortfall in meeting the
population needs. Because, the Food Grain production did not increase to cater to
the needs of the population. This led to the Green Revolution.
As we all know that India is basically an
agricultural country with the growing population dependent on agriculture. With
the experience of India’s first two five-year plans, it was realised that
agriculture in India had serious shortfalls namely,
a) It was not able to produce required grains to suit
the growing population. Insufficiency in production due to the traditional
agricultural practice which was primitive in use of technology.
b) The pattern of agriculture was not only very
primitive but farmers relied on long term crop patterns which took long time to
see the results.
c) Since India is a monsoon dependent state the
agricultural output was dependent on the nature of rainfall, insufficient rain
fall resulted in drought which affected the grain production in India leading to
famine, starvation and deaths.
During 1960’s a New Agriculture Policy was
formulated on the basis of suggestions given by the Ford Foundation. In its
report ‘India’s Crisis of Food and Steps to Meet it’ the Ford Foundation’s
agricultural experts suggested certain reforms. The Government of India
introduced the reforms in agriculture. These reforms were adopted as a
collective programme in order to bring existing and new irrigation facilities,
application of fertilizers, hybrid seeds that can bring high yield, pesticides,
insecticides etc.. This new way was gradually adopted in Indian agriculture.
This was called GREEN REVOLUTION. The plan for Green Revolution was formulated
by the notable Indian agriculture scientist Dr. M.S. Swaminathan who was later
known as Father of India’s Green Revolution. In simple terms, the increased use
of fertilizers and irrigation are known collectively as the Indian Green
Revolution. The Green Revolution took place between 1967-78 which resulted in
50% increase in agricultural production.
In 1960, seven districts in seven states were
selected by the Indian Government for a pilot project known as Intensive Area
Development Programme (IADP). As the results were far more satisfactory, the
reform programme was extended to other States. Hence, this programme was
extended to remaining states and one district from each state was selected for
intensive development. Subsequently it was extended to 144 districts in 1965.
In the initial stage, this programme was
implemented around 2 million hectares of area. Gradually the coverage of the
programme was enlarged and total area covered by this Green Revolution programme
was estimated as 70 million hectares which accounted to 40% of the agricultural
cover. Consequently, farming activities began to take throughout the year, that
is, from single cropping pattern to multiples of cropping and mixed cropping,
which meant not just the cultivation of wheat or rice alone as in the
traditional farming pattern. Due to the geo-climate variations in different
parts of India, farmers in India adopted different types of cropping pattern.
Northern States of India like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh quickly found
better results with regard to wheat, while Southern states like Karnataka,
Tamil Nadu etc found lesser rate of success in regard to cultivation of rice.
However, the over all result in the long run was more impressive to alleviate
Volume of agricultural outcome increased by two to three
fold compared to the period in 1950’s. The increased production of rice, wheat,
cereals and vegetables had erased the humiliation that India had to import
grains from the United States during the PL-140 programme in 1950’s. Moreover
the agricultural goods were freely available to the people in the open market.
Due to intensive cropping throughout the year, the
demand for agricultural employment increased. The demand was felt in two groups
namely, unskilled agrarian labour to work in the farm and qualified agricultural
engineers and experts to help and facilitate the knowledge regarding scientific
The Green Revolution in India not only brought a
change in agricultural activity, but also brought a healthy relationship between
market and industry. As the scientific farming was more dependent on
agricultural engineering such as farm equipments, tractors etc., industries
began to show interest to produce farm equipments to suit the increasing demand
at low cost. At the same time the market also began to play effective role in
processing and supplying the products to the consumers.
One of the major problem faced by the states in
India was that the Green Revolution was beneficial only to those states where
the soil was fertile. Hence, states that produced in excess distributed their
output to other states which were climatically dry such as Vidarbha and
Telangana. Hence, inter-state agrarian market began to grow to cater the needs
of the consumption. Concequently, the import burden came down drastically.
Farmers holding very small pieces of land had to compete
with the large land holders with regard to finance, infrastructure and agrarian
market forces. This led to marginalization of farmers and they were
disinterested towards new techniques in farming. Hence, there was variations
among farmers and also variation in various regions across India.
Green Revolution brought majority of farming
community in India together both for their personal and national socio-economic
welfare. This led to substantial increase in income status of the farming
community as the high yield of food grain led high income. Agricultural market also
played crucial role in creating competitive pricing which helped the farming
community to sell their goods in the open market. Hence, the whole farming
community in India took part in the Green Revolution. Unlike industrialization,
agriculture showed very short term profit and growth. Hence, it articulated the
revolutionary feeling among the agrarian community to actively participate in
the Green Revolution.
The following factors have been the
shortfalls due to Geo-Climatic factors in India.
1. Regional, crop and farming variations.
2. Widened the gap between rich and poor
3. Lack of finance among small scale farmers to put
up with initial investment
4. It forced the farmers to use harmful fertilizers
and pesticides to increase the crop output.
5. Lack of socialization and preparedness with
regard to adopting new technology.
6. It has become a never ending process due lack of
adequate check on population overgrowth.
1. It brought down the scarcity of food grains.
2. It encouraged the farmers to test new varieties
of high yield seeds and varieties of crops.
3. It stimulated to bring radical changes in
fishing, poultry and dairy industries namely Blue, Yellow and White Revolution.
4. Cash and spice crops were also given equal
importance which led India to export cash crops to various countries resulting
in high export earnings. However, other necessary crops like sugarcane, oilseeds
and cereals were not shown adequate interest by the farmers. Their importance
was felt only during 1970’s and early 1980’s.
Visit a village and
observe the farming activities. Understand ownership, tenancy, agricultural
activities and the nature of farming in the village.
Understand roof top
gardening, vertical gardening and organic farming and do an experimentation of