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Explain the impact of the green revolution on small and marginal farmers. । UPPSC General Studies-III Mains Solutions 2019


Explain the impact of the green revolution on small and marginal farmers.

( UPPSC, UP PCS Mains General Studies-III/GS-3 2019)


Norman Borg is considered the "father of the Green Revolution" in the world, while Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan started the Green Revolution in India, and is known as the father of the Green Revolution in India.

In the mid-1960s, there is a substantial increase in agricultural productivity by using high-yielding seeds, fertilization, irrigation, and pesticides, this increase in agricultural productivity is known as Green Revolution in India. Due to the Green Revolution, India becomes self-sufficient in food production.

Marginal farmers are farmers who have less than 1 hectare of agricultural land. Small and marginal farmers are farmers in India who have less than 2 hectares of agricultural land. About 80 % of Indian farmers are small and marginal farmers.

Due to the Green Revolution, small and marginal farmers have had the following effects-

Increase in agricultural productivity, increase in farmer income, and poverty decrease:

With the Green Revolution, farmers began using high-yielding variety seeds, advanced irrigation techniques, and modern agricultural methods. This led to a significant increase in crop yield. It has enabled small and marginal farmers to grow more than one crop in a farming year. Due to this the farmers started cultivating more than one in a year and increased the total productivity of agriculture. This improved food security and farmers' income. For this reason, small and marginal farmers have also been able to produce agriculture more than their consumption and sell agricultural products in the market. This helped these farmers to improve their overall socioeconomic conditions.

However, additional use of fertilizer and pesticides on the farm increases the acidification in the soil, leading to a decline in productivity. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana are facing a decline in agricultural productivity.

Debt Trap, farmers stress, and farmer suicides:

The big farmer took advantage of the Green Revolution more because they were able to easily manage expensive inputs and irrigation infrastructure and can adopt new agricultural technologies.

However, farming is very expensive for small and marginal farmers as they face challenges in buying expensive form input (hybrid seeds, fertilizers, pesticides) and these farmers are mostly dependent on rainfall. Even if they do farming inexpensively with agro-inputs, they do not benefit much.

Uncertainty in the monsoon causes crop loss, which affects primarily small and marginal farmers. Small and marginal farmers usually take loans from lenders with very high-onion rates. Due to crop failure or market uncertainty, the small farmer gets into debt. They are even forced to sell land to pay loans. Due to this, the suicide rate of farmers has increased.

Income inequality increases:

The Green Revolution benefited most of the big farmers and did not benefit small and marginal farmers due to expensive agricultural inputs and crop failure, as a result, it increases income inequality among farmers.

Finally, the Green Revolution had mixed effects on small and marginal farmers in India. On the one hand, it increased agricultural productivity and increased income, on the other hand, it also increases the cost of production through expensive agricultural inputs (hybrid seeds, pesticides, and irrigation projects), which leads to economic stress for farmers If there is a failure of the crop, then you have to face a lot of loss.

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