The environment has been changing quite rapidly since the advent of the 20t century. What used to be vast lush green swathes of land has become human settlements dotted with only a few greenery here and there. The advancement in technology has only helped accelerate the phenomenon, as people are quickly embracing technology in much of their work. Quite technically, people today cannot do much without technology. At least one or two things in their daily routines has to be related to technology. There is therefore a great need to find ways of having technology go hand in hand with environmentally friendly practices, so that each can remain useful and therefore ,less destructive to the other. A perfect case in point, is India and its food security situation.
Food security, and insecurity thereof, is always a pertinent issue for many nations around the world, including India. The Indian government noted that the country would be unable to grow enough food to feed the rapidly increasing population and thus invented the Green Revolution back in the 1960s.The idea of the Green Revolution was to apply technology in the farming methodologies to increase food supply. The Green Revolution, however, resulted in huge impacts, for instance, the implementation of land reforms, increased varieties of high yielding crops and mechanization.
Limitations of the Green Revolution
While it has great positive impacts, there are a few bottlenecks compounding the Green Revolution in India. The cost of machinery was not affordable to all farmers, and this was a huge disadvantage as most farmers could not purchase fuel or manage repairs. Most farmers were also poor and thus had little or no money to buy the seeds or fertilizers that were needed to yield more production. The need for new irrigation schemes to boost water supply was also a bit expensive for the tenant farmers. According to Shiva (2016), the construction of dams led to flooding of some for the good lands which led to no farming.
The use of large amounts of fertilizers and pesticides resulted in severe environmental challenges as they made way into the water supplies, endangering the human life. There was increased unemployment levels in the areas that had embraced, mechanization as the workers were replaced with tractors. Rao et al. (2015) assert that rising unemployment resulted in rural, urban migration which in turn increased urban problems for instance congestion, unemployment, dependency, and crime. The Green Revolution also forced many farmers to adapt to the new technologies which made them acquire debts with efforts to afford it and this triggered stress.
The Green Revolution resulted to vast disparities among the regions and states. The plan was only applicable to areas with reliable waters sources and the means to control it as well as available farm credit and fertilizers (Shiva, 2016). The regions with no water supply and the resources to support this plan had low yields compared to those with certain resources and water supply which resulted to disparities. There was also a disparity in the income levels where only the high yielding regions and states had high revenue and reduced cases of poverty.
Economic impacts of the Green Revolution
The high yielding crops required more water, pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals. The need thus spurred the growth of the local manufacturing units resulting to industrial growth which created employment and raised the country’s GDP. Patel (2013) argue that the need for irrigation schemes gave rise to the construction of dams to harness more water which was stored for generating hydroelectric power. The transformation not only boosted the industrial growth but also created employment and improved the quality of the human life in the villages.
The Green Revolution also made it easy for India to settle the loans it had taken from the World Bank, improving India’s credibility to it lenders and other lending agencies. Other developed countries, for instance, Canada ware impressed with the agricultural advancement and asked the Indian government to supply well-experienced farmers to them to teach them the technique employed in the Green Revolution (Rao et al., 2015). The provision of farmers, therefore, earned the Indian government foreign exchange and allowed the farmers support their relatives financially.
Statistical Results of the Green Revolution
The Green Revolution led to a grain output of 131 million tons within one year that is from 1978-1979.The increased production made India emerge one of the biggest and best agricultural producers globally. No other country recorded such huge success after attempting the green revolution. India became a chief export of food grains in that era (Patel, 2013). There was also an increase in the yield per unit of the land used for farming by over 30 percent between 1947 and 1979, the period between the gaining of India’s independence and when the Green Revolution proved effective.
Patel (2013) postulate that the crops under the high yielding varieties increased from around seven percent to over twenty percent of the total farmland in the ten years of green revolution. The sociological impact of the green revolution was the fact that it created job opportunities for both the industrial and agricultural workers due to the establishment of liberal facilities, for instance, the hydroelectric power stations and factories.
Political effects of the Green Revolution
The Green Revolution transformed India from a starving country to a chief exporter of food which earned the country great admiration most specifically during the third world (Rao et al., 2015). The Green Revolution made Mrs. Indira’s party, the Indian National Congress, a powerful political force. This is indeed quite a transformation, since it speaks of a nation that is increasingly becoming dependent on itself, therefore, independent on others.
The Green Revolution has proved effective as it introduced scientific cultivation which curbed the traditional farming techniques and embraced new scientific ones which have improved productivity. The traditional fertilizers have been replaced with chemicals, and farmers now use the high yielding variety seeds which increase production. The Green Revolution has allowed the change of the cropping patterns and resulted in industrialization which has vast, significant benefits such as employment creation.
- Patel, R. (2013). The long green revolution. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 40(1), 1-63.
- Rao, N. C., Pray, C. E., & Herring, R. J. (2015). Biotechnology for a Second Green Revolution in India: Socioeconomic, Political, and Public Policy Issues.
- Shiva, V. (2016). The violence of the green revolution: Third world agriculture, ecology, and politics. University Press of Kentucky.