Was The Green Revolution really that great? – Techweu

 ‘Green Revolution’ headed by Norman Borlaugh is one of the greatest agricultural revolutions in the world. In India, it was headed by MS Swaminathan.

Green Revolution in India

Green revolution led to exponential agricultural growth

In India, this was under the leadership of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The nation witnessed a turn in its agricultural growth. This happened from 1966 leading to a surge in food grain production. This was due to the adoption of modern methods like use of high yielding varieties, tractors, irrigation facilities, pesticides or fertilizers.

Benefits in Asia

Asia’s massive famines were erased due to the Green Revolution.

The Green Revolution did a lot to save Asia’s exploding population. Famines were ravaging the continent and the only way to produce food was by increasing crop yield. This meant sacrificing huge acres of forests and wetlands. The Green Revolution prevented this. Asia witnessed double the crop yield after green revolution and only 4% land usage was increased.

Unforeseen effects

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This was however done with the use of massive amounts of pesticides and fertilizers. This has led to emergence of pests that are resistant.

These chemicals ended up polluting the waterways and killing beneficial microorganisms and pests.

Excessive and indiscriminate use of fertilizers.

The use of new hybrid high yielding varieties led to the loss of indigenous varieties.  

Water usage increased exponentially. Rain and monsoon water was no longer able to replace it. This is sending the groundwater levels into retreat.

What next?

Time to revisit agricultural practices

The good effects of the green revolution are undeniable. India’s economic growth could not happen without it. However, this might be a crucial time to take a step back and reevaluate our stance on agricultural methodology.

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