Farming_Agriculture_India_Food_Insecurity_Green Revolution
PUNJAB, India – A declining Indian economy and growing food insecurity has policy and environmental experts calling for a Second Green Revolution since one of the best solutions would be heightened research and investments in the agricultural sector to increase the production and yields of small farmers.

This new Revolution would focus on the next generation of agricultural modernization since the original movement in the 1960s. “Food security became a major cause for concern in the 1960s,” says The National, “when it caught the imagination of India’s policymakers and spawned the green revolution, an ambitious plan to transform the country’s agricultural land via high-yielding crops, increased use of fertilizers and a raft of land reforms.” That is to say, as a result of population growth, political upheaval and massive socio-economic shifts throughout the world, the world endeavored to overhaul the current agro-environmental systems.

The main goal of the first Green Revolution was to supply enough food for the growing populations as cost efficiently as possible. “Fearing global upheaval, the developed nations initiated a deliberate strategy to supply cheap, abundant food to prevent political unrest,” states Kenny Ausubel, author of Restoring the Earth.  However, the plant seeds used to develop and economize food production were expensive, and the equipment needed to produce the seeds were costly as well. “While initially the “miracle high-yielding” seeds did produce bigger crops,” Ausubel notes, “this gain proved to be at the expense of the environment and small farmers.”

Moreover, the first Revolution privileged corporations and big agribusiness, leaving small, rural and hometown farmers in the dust. Experts from agriculture, economics and policy agree that a Second Green Revolution is needed “to improve the yield of crops grown in infertile soils by farmers with little access to fertilizer, who represent the majority of third-world farmers.” Small farmers are the key to food production in many countries around the world – not just India – and must be protected from being bought out by large agricultural corporations.

As such, research and development initiatives need to be undergone in order to generate more cost-effective and easily accessible resources for small farmers. Advancements in plant biology seem to be promising, as genetic modifications within crops could significantly yield larger harvests. As J.P. Lynch from the college of Agricultural Sciences states, “population growth, ongoing soil degradation and increasing costs of chemical fertilizer will make the Second Green Revolution a priority for plant biology in the 21st century.”

Food security is a necessary factor to global economic and development systems. Despite the advances made in the initial agricultural movement, more action is necessary in order to modernize and economize production for the world’s thousands of small farmers. “While the first Green Revolution was aimed at undertaking mass production,” declares Dr. N.G. Hedge of BAIF Development Research Foundation, “the second Green Revolution should be to promote production by the masses.

Mallory Thayer

Sources: BAIF, The National, Penn State, Urban Habitat
Photo: Tree Hugger

Second Green Revolution in India
For India, the issue of food security has been a chronic blight that has plagued the 1 billion strong nation ever since its beginnings. Recently, the government has launched a comprehensive program aimed at alleviating the wide spread malnutrition and low birth weights of many infants and children. In a bold move to add even more momentum and resources toward the fight against food insecurity, the Department of Agriculture has launched the Second Green Revolution in India.

The Second Green Revolution in India was celebrated during the farming festival of Uzhavar Thiruvizha, which will last until May 20th. During the festival, organized by the Department of Agriculture and Ministers from varying levels of Indian Government, farmers were invited to take part in educational seminars covering issues such as water usage, soil testing, and pest control. In addition to the educational aspects of the Uzavar Thiruvizha, 114 farmers also received financial assistance and farming assets valued at 72.42 lakhs.

In regards to the overall goals of the Second Green Revolution in India, Joint Director of Agriculture Mohammed Kalimullah Sherif remarked that “Under the ‘Second Green Revolution’ underway in the State, it has been planned to double the crop production and increase the revenue of farmers threefold over a period of three years ending 2015.”

Government investments such as the Uzhavar Thiruvizha highlight the ongoing commitment of the Indian government in tackling future food security challenges and alleviating chronic malnutrition. Furthermore, through the coordinated efforts of the Second Green Revolution in India, the mission of doubling current agricultural outputs is a goal that has never been more attainable.

– Brian Turner

Source The Hindu
Photo DeshGujarat