Essay on Agricultural Growth and Green Revolution
In popular parlance, the phenomenon of the Green Revolution is identified with India’s being catapulted from a chronically food-short country, with a begging – bowl image, to on which was self-sufficient and which became over time even surplus in food.
The change follows the major technological reforms that occurred in Indian agriculture, particularly from the mid-1960s.There has been much debate on the timing and the political and economic factors behind the ushering in of the New Agricultural Strategy which led to the Green Revolution. Its impact on the nature of agricultural growth on the changing position of various agrarian classes, particularly the poor, and on the class balance of governments has also generated lively controversy.
The view that in the “Nehru years” that is, from independence till his death in 1964,Indian agriculture was neglected or that the focus was only on institutional reforms and not on the technological base for agriculture. Countries like Japan and China which had carried out more far-reaching land reforms also had to follow the path of making modern technological improvement in agriculture to keep up their growth rates. The qualitative technological transformation in India-the Green Revolution came about not during his lifetime but soon after his death. But the foundations for the technological development were laid during Nehru’s time. Government investment in agriculture rose significantly in 1968 periods. Institutional finance made available to agriculture doubled between 1968-1973.
Green Revolution had a major impact on rural poverty levels through its impact on food availability, decline in relative prices of food, generating of agricultural and non-agricultural employment, rise in wages and so no. The link between the spread of Green Revolution and agricultural growth in an area and the fall in the numbers of the rural population living below the poverty line in that area is now widely accepted.
However it is felt that top priority needs to be given to research in this frontier area, if India is to achieve sustainable growth with self-reliance in the emerging world context today, as she has been able to do in the past with the Green Revolution.