Green Revolution in India: An Asset for Indian Agriculture

Safalta Expert Published by: Kirti Singh Updated Sun, 06 Feb 2022 05:18 PM IST


Know all the details related to the Green Revolution in India. Its History, objectives, its Positive and Negative Impacts, Different Schemes under green Revolution.

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The Green Revolution was a time in India's history that began in the 1960s and saw the introduction of technologies such as high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, mechanized farm implements, irrigation systems, pesticides, and fertilizers to transform agriculture into a modern industrial system. This period, which was primarily driven by agricultural scientist M. S. Swaminathan in India, was part of Norman E. Borlaug's greater Green Revolution effort, which leveraged agricultural research and technology to enhance agricultural output in the developing world. General Knowledge Ebook Free PDF: Download Here

The Green Revolution in India began in 1968, under the leadership of Congress leader Indira Gandhi, and resulted in a rise in food grain output, particularly in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.


The development of high-yielding wheat varieties and rust-resistant wheat strains were major accomplishments in this project.  However, environmental activists such as Vandana Shiva have studied the long-term repercussions of the green revolution, and believe that it has resulted in more environmental, financial, and sociological difficulties for the country, such as droughts, rural debts, and farmer suicides. According to reports, pesticide use has caused soil deterioration, wreaking havoc on farmers, the land, food, and water supplies. In many areas, this resulted in the collapse of agricultural systems.

People Behind Green Revolution

  • M.S . Swaminathan: Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan is an Indian agronomic, agricultural scientist, plant geneticist, administrator, and humanitarian who was born on August 7, 1925. Swaminathan is a global green revolution leader. He has been dubbed the "mastermind" behind India's green revolution.
  • Chidambaram Subramaniam: Chidambaram Subramaniam (CS) was an Indian politician and independence activist who lived from 30 January 1910 until 7 November 2000. In the unity cabinet, he served as Minister of Finance and Minister of Defense. Later in life, he was Governor of Maharashtra. He ushered in the Indian Green Revolution, an era of self-sufficiency, as Minister of Food and Agriculture.
  • Dilbagh Singh Athwal: He was crucial in the development of 'PV 18' in 1966 and the most famous amber-grained wheat     variety 'Kalyansona' in 1967, earning him the nickname "Father of the Wheat Revolution."

History of Green Revolution in India:

  • The Bengal Famine, which occurred in 1943 and resulted in the deaths of about 4 million people in eastern India, was the world's greatest recorded food crisis.
  • Even after independence in 1947, the government focused mostly on developing agrarian regions until 1967.
  • However, population growth was outpacing food production by a wide margin.
  • To boost yield, immediate and dramatic action was required. The Green Revolution was the catalyst for change.
  • The green revolution in India was a period when Indian agriculture was transformed into an industrial system with the employment of contemporary methods and technology such as HYV seeds, tractors, irrigation systems, herbicides, and fertilizers.
  • It was made possible through the support of the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, as well as the US and Indian governments.
  • In India, the Green Revolution is essentially a Wheat Revolution, since wheat output climbed by more than threefold between 1967-68 and 2003-04, while cereal production increased by just twofold.
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Green Revolution Objectives:

  • Short Term Objective: During the second Five Year Plan, the revolution was launched to alleviate India's food crisis.
  • Long Term Objective: Overall agriculture modernization based on rural development, industrial growth, infrastructure, raw materials, and other goals were among the long-term goals.
  • Different Scientific Studies: Producing plants that are more resistant to diseases and severe temperatures.
  • Helps in Employment: Both agricultural and industrial workers will be employed.
  • Agricultural World Globalization: By bringing technology to non-industrialized countries and establishing a large number of firms in key agricultural sectors.

Positive Impact of Green Revolution:

  • Increased Agricultural Productivity: The Green Revolution, which was implemented in 1967-68, resulted in a massive rise in agricultural crop production, particularly in food grains. The Green Revolution, which began in 1967, attempted to bring about a Grain Revolution.
  • Farmers' Prosperity: As farm productivity increased, farmers' earnings increased as well, and they became prosperous. This has been notably true for large farmers with more than 10 hectares of land.
  • Reduced food-grain imports: The main benefit of the Green Revolution was an increase in food-grain production, which resulted in a significant reduction in food-grain imports. We are now food grain self-sufficient and have enough stock in the central pool. We are occasionally able to export food grains as well.
  • Capitalistic Farming: Enormous farmers with more than 10 hectares of land have tended to maximize the benefits of Green Revolution technology by investing large sums of money in HYV seeds, fertilizers, machinery, and other inputs. This has aided capitalist agriculture.
  • Returning profit: The introduction of the Green Revolution aided farmers in increasing their income. Farmers with foresight reinvested their surplus revenue in increasing agricultural productivity. As a result, agriculture has improved much more. According to a survey performed by Punjab Agriculture University, farmers in Ludhiana invest roughly 55% of their earnings towards agricultural development.
  • Industrial Growth: The Green Revolution ushered in large-scale farm mechanization, resulting in a demand for tractors, harvesters, threshers, combines, diesel engines, electric motors, pumping sets, and other devices. Chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, weedicides, and other chemicals were also in high demand.
  • Rural Employment: While large-scale unemployment was predicted as a result of the mechanization of farming with the advent of Green Revolution technology in India, there was a significant increase in the demand for the labor force as a result of repeated cropping and fertilizer use.

Negative Effect of Green Revolution:

  • Non-Food Grains Excluded: While all food grains, such as wheat, rice, jawar, bajra, and maize, benefited from the revolution, other crops, such as coarse cereals, pulses, and oilseeds, were excluded.
  • High Yielding Variety Programme (HYVP) coverage was limited to only five crops: wheat, rice, jowar, bajra, and maize. As a result, non-food grains were left out of the new strategy's scope.
  • Regional Disparities: Green Revolution technology has resulted in growing economic disparities at both the interregional and intraregional levels. Only 40% of the entire cropped area has been damaged so far, with the remaining 60% remaining unaffected. Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh in the north, and Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in the south, are the most affected.
  • Excessive Chemical Use: As a result of the Green Revolution, pesticides and synthetic nitrogen fertilizers were widely used to improve irrigation projects and crop varieties. However, there was little or no attempt made to educate farmers about the increased danger linked with pesticide use. Pesticides were sprayed on crops by inexperienced agricultural laborers who disobeyed instructions and ignored safety safeguards.
  • Water Consumption: During the green revolution, water-intensive crops were introduced. Cereals, for example, accounted for nearly half of the dietary water footprint. Canal systems were introduced, and irrigation pumps drained groundwater to provide water-intensive crops like sugarcane and rice, depleting groundwater levels in the process.

Different Schemes Under Green Revolution:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Green Revolution Umbrella Scheme – 'Krishonnati Yojana' in the agriculture sector for a three-year period from 2017 to 2020, with a Central Share of Rs. 33,269.976 crore. Green Revolution-Krishonnati Yojana is an umbrella scheme that encompasses 11 schemes aimed at developing the agriculture and allied sector in a scientific and holistic manner in order to increase farmers' income by increasing productivity, production, and better returns on produce, strengthening production infrastructure, lowering the cost of production, and marketing agriculture and allied produce. The following are the 11 Umbrella Schemes that are part of the Green Revolution in India:
MIDH – Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture Its goals are to encourage the horticulture sector's overall growth, raise productivity, improve nutritional security, and increase income assistance to home farms.
NMSA – National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture The goal is to promote sustainable agriculture techniques that are best suited to the local agro-ecology, with an emphasis on integrated farming, proper soil health management, and resource conservation technology that works together.
NFSM – National Food Security Mission This includes NMOOP - National Mission on Oil Seeds and Oil Palm. The goal of this program is to boost wheat pulses, rice, coarse cereals, and commercial crops output, productivity, and area expansion in a cost-effective way, while also improving farm level economy and restoring soil fertility and productivity on a farm-by-farm basis.
SMSP – Sub-Mission on Seeds and Planting Material This seeks to boost seed production, improve the quality of farm-saved seeds, boost SRR, enhance the seed multiplication chain, and encourage novel methods and technologies in seed production, processing, and testing, among other things.
SMPPQ – Sub Mission on Plant Protection and Plan Quarantine The goal of this strategy is to reduce losses in agricultural crop quality and production caused by insects, pests, weeds, and other pests, to protect our agricultural bio-security against alien species incursions and spread, and to facilitate exports of Indian agricultural commodities to worldwide markets.
ISACES – Integrated Scheme on Agriculture Census, Economics, and Statistics This program aims to conduct an agriculture census, conduct research studies on the country's agro-economic problems, study the cost of cultivating major crops, and fund conferences, workshops, and seminars involving eminent agricultural scientists, economists, and experts in order to produce papers for short-term studies.
ISAC – Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Cooperation  It intends to give financial aid to cooperatives in order to improve their economic situations, eliminate regional disparities, and accelerate cooperative development in agricultural processing, storage, marketing, computerization, and weaker sector programs.
ISAM – Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Marketing This program aims to build agricultural marketing infrastructure, encourage innovative technologies and competitive alternatives in agriculture marketing infrastructure, and offer infrastructure for agricultural product grading, standardization, and quality certification.
NeGP-A – National e-Governance Plan It seeks to deliver farmer-centric and service-oriented initiatives to farmers; improve access to information and services for farmers throughout the crop cycle, and expand the accessibility and effectiveness of extension services.
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