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Approach:

  1. Give an introduction about the first Green Revolution in India and highlight its benefits in brief.
  2. Analyse its social and environmental consequences.
  3. Suggest some aspects that need focus during implementation of the second green revolution.

The Green Revolution of 1960s and 1970s brought about significant changes in the areas where it took place. It helped in modernizing agriculture in Punjab, western U.P., coastal Andhra Pradesh, and parts of Tamil Nadu along with making India self-sufficient in food-grains. Apart from the gains, the outcome of the first green revolution leads to many social as well as environmental consequences.

Social consequences:

  • Increasing inequality in rural societies: Only medium and large farmers were able to reap the benefit of new technologies and increasing productivity.
  • Displacement of tenants – cultivators: For landowners began to take back land from their tenants and cultivate it directly because cultivation was becoming more profitable.
  • Migration: Introduction of machineries displaced the service-caste group who used to carry out agriculture – related activities and increased the pace of rural-urban migration leading to proliferation of slums.
  • Social problems: The other social problems like female infanticide; low sex ratio are also attributed to Green Revolution. These indicators reported from the areas that underwent green revolution are among the worst in India.

Environment Consequences:

  • Excessive use of chemical fertilizer in some states like Punjab and Haryana causing destruction of useful microorganisms, insects and worms in soil.
  • Soil and Water pollution with heavy metals and pesticide chemicals, ground water depletion, salinization of soil etc.
  • Loss of Genetic Diversity: Farmers switched from a multi-crop system to a mono-crop system and use standard hybrid varieties which led to sharp reduction in genetic diversity.

Second Green Revolution:

Following the first phase of the Green Revolution, the second phase is currently being introduced in the dry and semi-arid regions of India. It is important to ensure that it leads to inclusive development of society and improvement of natural resources instead of degrading them.

  • The farmers need to be encouraged to move to produce crops in coherence with climatic conditions. The wet farming in dry areas needs to be avoided and more focus should be on crop diversification.
  • Adoption of micro irrigation on large scale along with organic farming, realization of potential of livestock sector, promotion of agro-forestry should be promoted.
  • Role of women in it needs to be prioritized along with greater market access.
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