Not-so-green revo­lu­tion

Down to Earth - - LETTERS -

This is with ref­er­ence to Into the gin­ger trap (16-30 June, 2015). The re­port makes a strong case against the in­dis­crim­i­nate use of chem­i­cals in farming, in the form of pes­ti­cides, her­bi­cides and fer­tilis­ers. But such use is quite com­mon across the farm sec­tor in In­dia. Ever since the Green Revo­lu­tion of the 1960s, farm­ers have been in­doc­tri­nated to use pes­ti­cides and chem­i­cal fer­tilis­ers in­dis­crim­i­nately. This is done in or­der to en­hance crop yield. How­ever, this strat­egy has been suc­cess­ful only in the states of Pun­jab, Haryana, western Ut­tar Pradesh and parts of Andhra Pradesh and Mad­hya Pradesh, where land­hold­ings are large, in con­trast to frag­mented plots in other parts of the coun­try. The eco­log­i­cal im­pacts of the Green Revo­lu­tion like soil degra­da­tion, pol­lu­tion of sur­face and ground­wa­ter, se­vere dam­age to food­chains, ecosys­tems and bio­di­ver­sity, have been over­looked. Worse, the gov­ern­ment has formulated a new pro­gramme of a Sec­ond Green Revo­lu­tion for east­ern In­dia. In other words, the Green Revo­lu­tion still ex­erts a lot of in­flu­ence on agro-pol­i­cy­mak­ers and farm­ers alike in to­day's In­dia. Talk­ing of or­ganic farming won't make much sense, un­less the gov­ern­ment strength­ens sup­port sys­tems to pro­vide a level play­ing field against the much more pow­er­ful mod­ern farming of the Green Revo­lu­tion .

MUKTIPADA DAS

KOLKATA

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