From Green Revolution to Organic Farming

Before independence, the type of crops cultivated in India were more or less based on the demand on the demand of the British government. The demand for commercial/ cash crops was more than food crops. The farmer too adapted themselves to grow commercial crops like cotton, indigo..etc.. and the land was treated on that basis. But no one was aware of the “change in demand” that would take place after independence. The post independence era saw a shift in the demand of the crops from commercial purpose to food crops. Now, there was a need to feed this growing population but even then our government thought agriculture to be resilient enough to be managed on it’s own. We focused on industrialization and other sectors. We later realized that there was an urgent need to come up with land reform measures. Post independence with the implementation of some of the agenda under land reforms, India witnessed expansion of agriculture land and that resulted in higher food production but after the 1 st Five Year Plan the scope of area expansion has been limited. Now there was a need to increase the productivity in the limited area available for production. That is where Green revolution came into play.Green revolution was a productivity revolution.Over years this played an important role in production increase by productivity enhancement and not by area expansion. It acted as a boon to solve the looming hunger problem in India.

Green Revolution success had instituted confidence in our planning process and it helped us develop faith in our agriculture system and since then agriculture relevance to India’s economy was never questioned. Green Revolution also triggered the diversification of industrial development to include petrochemical section like fertilizers and also food processing units which are valuable in post harvest value addition in agriculture. Though intensive use of irrigation and fertilizers under the Green Revolution technology has increased the farm production, it has also given birth to the problem of pests, insects, weeds, rodents, etc. The mono culture promoted by the Green Revolution technology is more vulnerable to the insects and pests.

The demands are again changing and now we should acclimatize ourselves based on the changing demands. The need of the hour is “sustainable agriculture” and this can be achieved through organic farming. This also demands a change in the attitude of farmers. This is a crucial step because the approach to farming problems in an organic system is essentially different from its conventional counterpart. The mechanism of organic marketing is quite different from that of regular marketing of the products produced by conventional farming. Organic markets are still a niche segment in which specific buyers are targeted. Such marketing requires different skills and may call for additional costs in the initial stages. Appropriate networks should also be created in the country for dissemination of information among the farmers about international as well as local markets for organic produce. Apart, a well-thought-out subsidy and other support schemes from govt. are essential, especially, for farmers of developing nations to make the conversion to organic agriculture easier and cheaper, as has been done in some of the developed nations earlier.