Agricultural Practices Before and After the Green Revolution


Agricultural practices are as old as the human civilization. Back then, they used primitive tools and equipments like spade, wooden ploughs and sickles. During those days, the population was small and therefore they cultivate only for their requirements. Ancient people work in the farm for their sustenance and therefore, they had only small land holdings for agricultural purposes.

Spade was one of the most important tools for digging. They manually dig the whole area of field for cropping. They used wooden ploughs driven by bullocks, horses or mules before transplanting the crops. When the time comes for harvesting, they used sickles, threshed manually, and carry on their backs or bullock carts. That was the basic reason why they could not cultivate a large area of farmland. However, they did not use insecticides and pesticides. There was natural soil fertility and thus it did not have adverse effects on health.

However, with the increase in population, there was the need to cultivate more areas of land and it was quite challenging to cultivate big farmlands due to lack of modern farm equipments. Therefore, there was once a famine in Bengal in 1943 where 4 millions of people died for want of food. It was shocking to have died so many people for scarcity of food. That was why the Government of India took the initiative to introduce the Green revolution with the hope of eliminating hunger in India.

India was not food sufficient until the coming of the Green revolution but when it was launched in some states of India, there was success and it brought smiles to many hungry farmers of India.

The success of the Green revolution was mainly due to the introduction of the High Yielding Variety of seeds, which was genetically modified to produce more yields per hectare. It was not just the seeds but the use of machines in farms enabled the farmers to cultivate much larger areas for surplus food crops.

The use of machineries like tractors, harvesters, threshers and weeding machines simplified cultivation with the advent of the Green revolution. Farmers required fewer laborers whereas they could cultivate more lands for surplus food. It was not just the use of farm equipments but also the use of pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides simplified cultivation as manual weeding was not required.

Farming was mechanized to such an extent that farmers were able to produce more than what they can consume in a year and the surplus was made available for sale. They became self sustain for food and foodstuffs were available at a cheaper price for the buyers. The purchasing capacity of the farmers increased manifold due to surplus food they produced.

In general, the implementation of the Green Revolution was a boon for many poor farmers of India. They have abandoned the use of primitive tools because of the mechanized farming. Many booming agro-industries came up for manufacturing of machineries required for farming.

Transportation of goods from one region to another region is very easy nowadays and therefore, what Punjab cultivates easily reaches other parts of India. After the introduction of the Green revolution in India, she has become one of the third world countries who are self sufficient in food crops. Having seen the success in India, it is implemented in other parts of the region in Asia but it is not as successful as it is in India. The use of modern farm equipments and machines has largely contributed to the success of the Green Revolution.

If it had not been for the advancement in technology, HYV alone cannot bring success in the Green Revolution. Now there is driller for making hand pumps, long distance irrigation can be dug using earthmovers, sprayers are made for watering the food crops. Though the success is due to the launch of the Green Revolution, it also largely comes from advancement of technology without which it will be a partial success.