Green Revolution

The significant increase in agricultural production in 1960s consequent upon the adoption of new agricultural strategy and use of HYV seeds and chemical fertilizers is called Green Revolution. The key pillars of this revolution were high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and promoted irrigation facilities.

Green revolution was introduced as a package programme with seed-water-fertilizer-pesticide-technology components and was originally called High Yielding Variety Programme (HYVP). It was launched in Kharif of 1966-67 with an objective to attain self-sufficiency in food by 1970-71. The core philosophy of the programme was to increase the productivity of food grains by adopting latest varieties of inputs of crops. Introduction of new high yielding varieties of improved seeds and enhanced application of the fertilizers and extended use of pesticides were its main features. The farmers were also extended finance through a relaxed mechanism. The programme turned out to be a major breakthrough and a turning point in the history of agriculture development in India.

Role of Dr. Norman Borlaug

The term “Green Revolution” was first used in 1968 by then USAID director William Gaud. The HYV seeds were imported from Mexico, where they were developed by Dr. Norman Borlaug (1914-2009). Dr. Norman started the agricultural development in Mexico and made it a success. The sponsor of this programme was Rockefeller Foundation, whose office later became the “The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center” or CIMMYT. The foundation later sought to spread it to other countries.  It was his effort that these HYV seeds expanded from Mexico to India, Pakistan, Philippines and other parts of the world.  Dr. Borlaug is called father of Green Revolution; he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 and was honoured with Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.

Role of Dr. Swaminathan

Dr. M. S. Swaminathan was the adviser of the Minister of Agriculture and he had invited Dr. Borlaug to India. Swaminathan is known for having lobbied with then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri to import 18000 tons of Mexican seed.  He established National Bureau of Plant, Animal and Fish Genetic Resources of India and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.

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