Green revolution 2.0 and new farm laws

Agri model

Context: The next Green Revolution 2.0 will come through in-depth research, better investment opportunities and access to the market.

What led to the green revolution?

  • Scarcity of grain: After the China war, when India was standing at the cusp of economic destruction, Pakistan attacked India. There was an acute scarcity of food grains in the country.
  • Change in farm sector: Scientist Norman Borlaug brought a revolutionary change in the farm sector in Mexico with his semi-dwarf varieties of rice and wheat. Borlaug analysed the farm sector in Punjab and concluded that production can be doubled.
  • Beginning of green revolution: Subramaniam promised the farmers that if they implement the new farming techniques, the central government will compensate them. This scheme was initially implemented in around 150 farm holdings with the assistance of Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.
    • The Green Revolution worked on three fronts: better seeds, irrigation and optimum use of fertilisers.

The new laws have set the tone for second green revolution. Discuss.

  • For the rich farmers of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh: Things are different; but for crores of small landholders in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, etc., it is now possible to feed their families.
  • Landholdings in many states have shrunk: In eastern UP, the cultivators are largely marginal farmers now.
    • Farmers with less than an acre of arable land are identified as marginal farmers.
    • Small farmers are those with landholdings between 1 acre and 2.5 acres.
    • It is difficult for a farming family to sustain themselves with just an acre of arable land. The farmer will have to explore other avenues to improve his financial position.
  • Agrarian transition development: The latest farm policy reforms of the government are also called agrarian transition development and were implemented in Europe and the US early on. Today, around 45 per cent of the country’s workforce is involved in agriculture.
  • Agriculture after independence: When India attained Independence, the contribution of agriculture to the country’s GDP was huge, which today has come down to around 15 per cent. The old model has been a drag on the economy as well as the villages.
  • Develop models of contract farming: It is an avenue to develop an organised corporate model of agriculture in the country. This will speed up urbanisation in the villages and the development of industries and the service sector there.
    • These sectors will be able to absorb the excess workforce in the farm sector.
  • Structure and potential of contract farming: For instance, if a village has a thousand farmers who have an acre of arable land, then, through contract farming, someone can sow crops on the entire 1,000 acres of land.
    • The land continues to belong to the farmer, while on the other hand, he/she will earn the profit from the sale of produce generated from his/her part of the landholding. This also frees him/her to pursue other employment opportunities.

Way forward

  • The next revolution: Green Revolution 2.0 will come through in-depth research, better investment opportunities and access to the market. The three farm laws are a revolutionary step in that direction.
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