India’s achievement in the field of food production, to reach the desired target and even more, is generally known as the Green Revolution. Even after the completion of the First Five Year Plan India faced food deficit. In some states like Bihar, Rajasthan near famine condition prevailed for a time. The want became so acute that large-scale import of foodstuffs had to be undertaken, under PL 480. For some months in the area people lived from ship (carrying food grains) to mouth.
Then by improving irrigation system under River Valley Projects, using chemical fertilizers and introducing some sort of collective farming and better methods of cultivation-using high, yielding strains, double cropping etc States like Punjab, Hariyana, Andhra, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra turned into granary.
India is now in a position to export food crops and maintains a huge buffer stock of food crops. This is known as the Green Revolution.
The application of science to industrial production has resulted in phenomenal growth. Today we are more or less self-reliant in food production, though abundance is yet far off. This break-through in our fight against food shortage is what has been characterized as the Green Revolution.
In this way, we have applied science and technology to the service of agricultural development. This has resulted in a higher yield of grains and vegetables, where even a few years back we were heavily dependent on foreign imports on the food front. First, proper machinery was devised for the large-scale production of chemical fertilisers as also the use of organic munures.
By an intensive study of soil Chemistry, science has discovered the particular type of manures necessary for the improvement of the fertility of the soil. Alongside white revolution is near at hand in the milk front.
But the fruits of the green revolution will never be assuring unless steps are taken to prevent damages caused by drought or floods. These natural calamities are caused by the uncertainties of monsoon upon which our agriculture has to depend so much even now. For only one-third of arable land is irrigated by the different River Valley projects.
To counteract these calamities two things are necessary. First, there should be an extensive scheme of irrigation in order to divert the excess of water through canals to those regions, which are comparatively dry. Minor irrigational facilities will also have to be extended for a wide area by such devices as excavating tanks sinking deep or shallow tube-wells, building reservoirs, digging canals etc. Finally, progressive farmers have to turn over from the antiquated bullock-driven ploughs to modern tractors. The grand plan of river-grid, connecting the Ganga with the Normada has to be undertaken.
There is, no doubt, a ‘green’ revolution is being brought aloud by harnessing science and technology to agricultural production. Food production has shown a welcome increase. India’s yearly turnout of food grains now has exceeded twenty crore tonnes. Our country now can boost of helping other countries like Russia, Bangla Desh, Cuba etc. during their needs, due to natural calamities. India has a considerable buffer stock of grains to fall back upon. Much has been done; much remains to be done; for it is a process that must be continuous, if food is to be supplied cheap and in sufficient quantities to the coming generation.