Green Revolution in India: A Case StudyWhy Green Revolution?The world's worst recorded food disaster happened in 1943 in British-ruled India. Known as the Bengal Famine, an estimated four millionpeopledied of hunger that year alone in eastern India(that included today's Bangladesh). The initial theory put forward to 'explain' that catastrophe was that there as an acute shortfall in food production in the area. However, Indian economist Amartya Sen (recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 1998) has established that while food shortage was a contributor to the problem, a more potent factor was the result of hysteria related to World War II which made food supply a low priority for the British rulers. The hysteria was further exploited by Indian traders who hoarded food in order to sell at higher prices. Nevertheless, when the British left Indiafour years later in 1947, Indiacontinued to be haunted by memories of the Bengal Famine. It was therefore natural that food security was a paramount item on free India's agenda. This awareness led, on one hand, to the Green Revolution in Indiaand, on the other, legislative measures to ensure that businessmen would never again be able to hoard food for reasons of profit. However, the term "Green Revolution" is applied to the period from 1967 to 1978 and even into today. Between 1947 and 1967, efforts at achieving food self-sufficiency were not entirely successful. Efforts until 1967 largely concentrated on expanding the farming areas. But starvation deaths were still being reported in the newspapers. In a perfect case of Malthusian economics, population was growing at a much faster rate than food production. This called for drastic action to increase yield. The action came in the form of the Green Revolution. The term "Green Revolution" is a general one that is applied to successful agricultural experiments in many Third Worldcountries. It is NOT specific to India. But it was perhaps most successful in India. What was the Green Revolution in India?There were three basic elements in the method of the Green Revolution: 1) Continued expansion of farming areas; 2) Double-cropping existing farmland; 3) Using seeds with improved genetics.
Continued expansion of farming areasAs mentioned above, the area of land under cultivation was being increased right from 1947. Butthis was not enough in meeting with rising demand. Other methods were required. Yet, the