Punjab exceeds most states in metrics on mechanisation, chemical input and capital investment. What then explains the failure of its green fields?
Numerous policy decisions have made the domestic market less remunerative for farmers.
Scientist R.H. Richharia’s research showed that several indigenous rice varieties gave high yields without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
According to government data, the rate of increase of farm yields for many crops was higher in the pre-green revolution period when compared to later years.
Big Agriculture now employs its unethical marketing tactics to selling farmers “climate-smart” agriculture in the form of soils, seeds and chemicals.
Falling prices and a lack of adequate procurement centres have left tur producers grasping for a way out.
Narratives that present the Green Revolution as necessary and successful ignore the context that it was brought around in and the fact that it did not lead to a food-secure India.
Congress and AAP aim to write off farm loans if they come to power in Punjab. But such measures will only be useful only if accompanied by policy reforms like a sustainable farming system and assured monthly income for farmers.
On World Food Day – October 16 – it is essential that the consequences of the growing concentration of corporate control over seeds, agri-chemicals, food and farming systems be understood for what they are.
Fifty years after high yielding variety seeds came to India, a look at how they got here – and what may have happened if they didn’t.
To give stagnant agricultural growth a boost, a shift must be made from concentrating on the country’s food security to focusing on the farmers’ income security.