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

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Green Revolution and the Yield Question

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By analysing the yield data in the post green revolution period, the connection between productivity and green revolution technology is contested. Based on research conducted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, it is argued that the green revolution could not have been the only option for India in the mid-1960s.

Richa Kumar’s “India’s Green Revolution and Beyond” (EPW, 24 August 2019) provides an insightful peep into Indian agriculture in the pre-green revolution period
(including pre-independence period). This article along with Stone (2019) raises serious doubts on the “ship to mouth” story, unavoidability of PL480 imports and the viewpoint that green revolution was necessary. Relying on the Planning Commission data, it asks a valid question as to why “no one thought that there was (food security) crisis” in 2009 when more than 40 years of green revolution, food availability per capita per annum was 162.1 kg, while in the so-called “ship to mouth” years in the pre-green revolution period it was 171.1 kg in 1961? In fact, during the last 18 years, 1989–2007, for which data on per capita availability of foodgrains has been provided by the Planning Commission, in only eight years, it exceeded per capita food availability in 1961 and for the other 10 years, almost continuously since the late 1990s, it was lower than that (Planning Commission nd).

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Updated On : 26th Dec, 2020

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