The Green Revolution in India was a period when agriculture in India increased its yields due to improved agronomic technology. Green Revolution allowed developing countries, like India, to overcome poor agricultural productivity. It started in India in the early 1960s and led to an increase in food grain production, especially in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh during the early phase. The main development was higher-yielding varieties of wheat, which were developed by many scientists, including American agronomist Dr. Norman Borlaug, Indian geneticist M. S. Swaminathan, and others. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research also claims credit for enabling the Green Revolution,[1] in part by developing rust resistant strains of wheat.[2]

The introduction of high-yielding varieties of seeds and the increased use of chemical fertilizers and irrigation led to the increase in production needed to make the country self-sufficient in food grains, thus improving agriculture in India.[3] The methods adopted included the use of high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of seeds[4] with modern farming methods.

The production of wheat has produced the best results in fueling self-sufficiency of India. Along with high-yielding seeds and irrigation facilities, the enthusiasm of farmers mobilised the idea of agricultural revolution. Due to the rise in use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers there were negative effects on the soil and the land such as land degradation.

irrigation infrastructure


Problems that were addressedEdit

Frequent faminesEdit

Famines in India were very frequent during the period 1940s to 1970s. Due to faulty distribution of food, and because farmers did not receive the true value for their labour, the majority of the population did not get enough food.[5] Malnutrition and starvation was a huge problem.[citation needed]

Lack of financeEdit

Small and marginal farmers found it very difficult to get finance and credit at economical rate from the government and banks, hence, fell as easy prey to the money lenders. They took loans from zamindars, who charged high rates of interests and also exploited the farmers later on to work in their fields to repay the loans (farm labourers).[citation needed]

Lack of self-sufficiencyEdit

Due to traditional agricultural practices, low productivity, and a growing population, often food grains were imported — draining scarce foreign reserves. It was thought that with the increased production due to the Green Revolution, the government could maintain buffer stock and India can achieve self-sufficiency and self-reliability.[citation needed]

Agriculture was basically for subsistence and, therefore, less agricultural product was offered for sale in the market. Hence, the need was felt to encourage the farmers to increase their production and offer a greater portion of their products for sale in the market. The new methods in agriculture increased the yield of rice and wheat, which reduced India's dependence on food imports.

49% of people in India are employed in agriculture.[citation needed]


Indian Economic SovereigntyEdit

A main criticism of the effects of the green revolution is the cost for many small farmers using HYV seeds, with their associated demands of increased irrigation systems and pesticides. A case study is found in India, where farmers are buying Monsanto BT cotton seeds—sold on the idea that these seeds produced 'natural insecticides'. In reality, they need to still pay for expensive pesticides and irrigation systems, which might lead to increased borrowing to finance the change from traditional seed varieties. Many farmers have difficulty paying for the expensive technologies, especially if they have a bad harvest.

Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva notes that this is the "second Green Revolution". The first Green Revolution, she suggests, was mostly publicly-funded (by the Indian Government). This new Green Revolution, she says, is driven by private [and foreign] interest - notably MNCs like Monsanto. Ultimately, this is leading to foreign ownership over most of India's farmland.[6] [7]

Adverse effectsEdit

The excessive use of chemical fertilizers decreased soil fertility and also the use of electric tube wells decreased groundwater table below the previous level.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "About IARI". IARI. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Rust-resistant Wheat Varieties. Work at Pusa Institute". The Indian Express. 7 February 1950. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Green Revolution in India". U.S. Library of Congress (released in public domain). Library of Congress Country Studies. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  4. ^ Rowlatt, Justin (2016-12-01). "IR8: The miracle rice which saved millions of lives". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-12-05. 
  5. ^ Amartya Sen. 1981. Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation. Oxford University Press.
  6. ^ Shiva, Vandana. Seeds of Suicide. Navdanya. 
  7. ^ Shiva, V. "Seeds of Suicide". Counter Currents. , originally in Asian Age 5 April 2013

External linksEdit