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What was the Green Revolution? Mention two positive and two negative consequences of the Green Revolution.

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Green revolution is associated with the dramatic changes brought in India’s agricultural sector by the introduction of new technology.
Introduced in the late 1960s, the revolution brought about the introduction of HYV of seeds for wheat and rice production, use of fertilizers and pesticides. In response to the food crisis, the government replaced the traditional agricultural practices by modern technology.

a. It involved putting in more resources into the areas that already had irrigation and those farmers who were already well-off so as to increase production and make country food self sufficient.

b. Thus, the government offered high-yielding variety of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and better irrigation facilities at highly subsidised prices.

c. The government also gave guarantee to buy the produce of the farmers at a given price.

Green revolution had the following impact on India:

a. Food grain production increased from 82.0 million tonnes to 201.6 million tonnes. States like Punjab and Haryana excessively benefitted from it.

b. The expansion in production made farmers approach market and sell surplus in the market.

However, questions have been raised regarding the sustainability of development as the Green Revolution has turned out to be a partial revolution and has benefited some states and only large farmers. There are problems associated with it.

a. Small farmers with small and fragmented land holdings could not avail the benefits of the Green Revolution as using HYV of seeds and latest technology required a huge amount of capital.

b. HYV of seeds demanded the usage of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, which again required huge sum of capital. Moreover, their excessive use impacts the fertility of the soil leading to land degradation.

c. Even though, by virtue of green revolution, the government aimed at improving farming practices by adopting modern techniques and HYV of seeds, but we would like to question the impact of such a revolution which also involves the large scale use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, overlooking the harmful effects they lead to .They have caused health hazards to many of our farmers who used them and are directly exposed to them, damaging their lungs, causing dizziness and severe headaches.

d. Many fertilisers are in a powdered form and have contaminated the nearby water bodies, thereby also affecting the village.

e. Fertilisers used in the cultivation of vegetables may directly have a bearing on the consumer as its residues are likely to be found on them, contaminating the food that we consume causing health problems.

f. Green revolution widened the gap between the rich and poor farmers. It created a new class of middle peasant sections, who had medium size land holdings and became socially and politically influential.

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