The mid-twentieth century was a time when scientists and governments the world over began taking serious notice of worldwide hunger. A fact known for long, but largely ignored.
So, what is the Green Revolution? Simply put, it was a movement that was born out of a need to eradicate world hunger.
This article attempts to explain the Green Revolution. In it, we will explore the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Green Revolution, as well as discover who is known as ‘The Father of the Green Revolution.’
But first, a more detailed answer to the question, ‘What is the Green Revolution?’
Green Revolution: The History
The Green Revolution can be attributed to the Father of the Green Revolution, Norman Ernest Borlaug. He was an American agronomist, who developed this initiative. An initiative that encouraged the use of better irrigation facilities and high-yielding varieties of grains.
Initially, this was a movement that was directed towards improving as well as increasing the production of food across the planet. This led to a plethora of ‘agricultural experiments’ in various countries.
Needless to say, India ranks among one of the many countries, where the Green Revolution enjoyed a good modicum of success.
The Green Revolution, Explained
To explain the Green Revolution better, it is pertinent to take a look at its implementation in our own country!
The 1960s were a time when India was presented with a great crisis. Namely, a massive famine! That was the very time, when the Government of India deemed it imperative that India join The Green Revolution.
Interesting Fact: The state of Punjab was the state that was first chosen, vis a vis trying the new crop. This was on account of the ready availability of water, for the process of agriculture.
The idea behind India implementing the Green Revolution, was in making it self-sufficient to feed all its citizens.
The following are the things that were used to effectively implement the same:
- High Yielding Seeds
- Land Reforms
- Enhanced Infrastructure in the Rural Areas
- Better Fertilizers
- Effective Credit Facilities to Farmers
- The Establishment of Prestigious Agricultural Colleges
Also, back in the day, farmers in India were used to the practice of growing only a single crop each season. Thanks to the Green Revolution, there were now two crops that were being grown each year. As a means of backing up this practice, large irrigation projects were set up.
The result: It can be safely said that The Green Revolution was a super hit in India. It led to the production of new, high quality yields of crops like rice, wheat and corn. This in turn led to the production of grains increasing by millions of tonnes every subsequent year!
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Green Revolution
To understand the effects of the Green Revolution, one must explore both the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Green Revolution.
Let us begin, with a look at all the positives the Green Revolution brings.
Green Revolution: Its Advantages
- A check on Greenhouse gas emissions.
- An increase in the productivity of crops.
- It is a better alternative to the traditional farming method.
- Yields are consistent irrespective of seasons.
This is because of the influence wielded on the carbon cycles via the atmosphere, on account of the high yield methodology.
It’s only a given, that the Green Revolution has led to an increase in overall crop productivity and output. What this has done for our country, is help it become self-sufficient in the production of food grains.
This is particularly because the newer, high-yield varieties not only imply more food for all, they also significantly reduce the food cost for the end consumer. The farmers are also able to produce the crops in less time, and that means higher productivity.
Gone are the days, when farmers would be heavily reliant on the climatic conditions to ensure a good harvest. Now, the better crop strains that have been produced as a result of some stellar research, have a far better tolerance to adverse conditions.
Green Revolution: Its Disadvantages
The effects of the Green Revolution are not all hunky-dory. The following are some of the negatives that the Green Revolution brings with it.
- It has an adverse effect on the soil.
- Health Problems.
- An Imbalance in Agricultural Progress.
While the Green Revolution might have had a resounding success in some states, it was not particularly effective in others. Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra are examples of states where it thrived, while states like Rajasthan and Assam failed to make the cut.
- Increased food wastage.
When the same crop is used repeatedly, it only leads to the depletion of the soil’s precious resources.
How many times has someone warned you about the dangers of pesticides in the vegetables you eat? The increased use of pesticides and fertilisers, can have a most negative impact on the health of consumers.
As children, we were told to finish the food on our plates, because starving children had no food to eat. One of the paradoxes of The Green Revolution, is that more food is created for the market, than needed. As a result, around a billion tons of food are wasted each year!
At EuroKids, we believe that everyone should learn about The Green Revolution and what it stands for, especially little children. After all, they are the next generation that will be entrusted with taking care of our planet, and ensuring that there is plenty of food for all human beings.