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The Green Revolution
HOW IT STARTED?
The world's worst recorded food disaster occurred in 1943 in British-ruled India. Known as the Bengal Famine, an estimated 4 million people died of hunger that year in eastern India (which included today's Bangladesh). Initially, this catastrophe was attributed to an acute shortfall in food production in the area. However, Indian economist Amartya Sen (recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 1998) has established that while food shortage was a contributor to the problem.
When the British left India in 1947, India continued to be haunted by memories of the Bengal Famine. It was therefore natural that food security was one of the main items on free India's agenda. This awareness led, on one hand, to the Green Revolution in India.
The Green Revolution, spreading over the period from1967/68 to 1977/78, changed India’s status from a food-deficient country to one of the world's leading agricultural nations. Until 1967 the government largely concentrated on expanding the farming areas. But the population was growing at a much faster rate than food production. This called for an immediate and drastic action to increase yield. The action came in the form of the Green Revolution. The term ‘Green Revolution’ is a general one that is applied to successful agricultural experiments in many developing countries. India is one of the countries where it was most successful.
There were three basic elements in the method of the Green Revolution
|Continuing expansion of farming areas|
|Double-cropping in the existing farmland|
|Using seeds with improved genetics.|
The area of land under cultivation was being increased from 1947 itself. But this was not enough to meet the rising demand. Though other methods were required, the expansion of cultivable land also had to continue. So, the Green Revolution continued with this quantitative expansion of farmlands.