ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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ECONOMIC CONFERENCE-How Green Is the Green Revolution

ECONOMIC CONFERENCE How Green Is the Green Revolution? (From a Correspondent) THE 53rd annual conference of the Indian Economic Association was held at Gauhati between December 38 and 30, 1970. The University of Gauhati played host to the conference, the first to be held in the north-eastern region. M L Dantwala was the President of the conference. The three subjects which had been earlier picked for discussion were: (1) Quantity Theory and Developing Economies, (2) Performance of Public Enterprises and (3) Economics of Green Revolution. In his presidential address, entitled "From Stagnation to Growth", Dantwala examined the relative roles of technology, economic policy and agrarian institutions in agricultural growth. He reviewed the literature on the subject with special reference to India and attempted to draw some general conclusions regarding the factors which account for stagnation and/or growth of agriculture in many of the developing economies, particularly India, TECHNOLOGY, THE MAIN FACTOR The technological breakthrough, according to Dantwala, was the main factor which had opened up the way for making a fortune in agriculture, turning many of the non-viable farms into viable ones. Taking a historical review of agricultural growth, Dantwala pointed out that for nearly 50 years since the turn of the century, foodgrain production had been almost stagnant. Further, the stagnation before 1964 and the breakthrough thereafter were noticed in countries pursuing diverse economic and political policies. The rise in production of foodgrains after 1964 was due to the discovery of the high- yielding varieties and their commercial application. With this development as the basic factor underlying the green revolution, Dantwala concluded that the contribution of land reform to agricultural development had been overestimated; in fact in the absence of a technological breakthrough the chances of effective implementation of institutional reform were meagre. Even now, after the breakthrough, preventive land reform was more urgent than positive land reform.

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