India was a food-deficit country on the eve of Independence. It had to import foodgrains to feed its people. The situation became more acute during the 1960s. The imported food had to be sent to households within the shortest possible time.
The situation was referred to as ‘ship to mouth’. Presently, Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns are overflowing with food grain stocks and the Union government is unable to ensure remunerative price to the farmers for their produce.
How was it achieved
- The government motivated agricultural scientists to make India self-sufficient in food grain production. As a result, high-yield varieties (HYV) were developed. The combination of seeds, water and fertiliser gave a boost to food grain production in the country which is generally referred to as the Green Revolution.
- Expansion of Farming Areas: Despite the fact that the area of land under cultivation has been increasing since 1947, this was insufficient to fulfil the escalating demand. This quantitative increase of agriculture was aided by the Green Revolution.
- Double-cropping System: A key aspect of the Green Revolution was double cropping. Instead of having only one agricultural season every year, it was decided to have two. Because there is just one rainy season every year, the one-season-per-year practise was adopted. The second phase’s water came from massive irrigation installations. Dams were created, as well as other rudimentary irrigation systems.
- Using seeds with superior genetics: The scientific side of the Green Revolution was the use of seeds with superior genetics. New strains of high yield variety seeds, including wheat and rice, millet, and corn, were produced by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research.
- Targeted PDS was launched in 1997 to focus on households below the poverty line (BPL). Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) was introduced to cover the poorest of the poor.
- Annapoorna Scheme was introduced in 2001 to distribute 10 kg of food grains free of cost to destitutes above the age of 65 years. In 2013, the National Food Security Act (NFSA) was passed by Parliament to expand and legalise the entitlement.
- More recently, the Government of India has introduced a scheme called ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ which enables migrant labourers to purchase rations from the place where they reside.
Overall, the Green Revolution was a huge success for many developing nations, particularly India, providing them with unparalleled national food security. It signified the effective adaptation and transmission of the same agricultural scientific revolution that the industrial countries had previously seized. However, elements other than guaranteeing food security, such as the environment, poor farmers, and their education regarding chemical know-how, received less attention. As a way ahead, authorities must more clearly target the poor to guarantee that new technologies help them more directly, and such technologies must also be more ecologically friendly.
How to structure
- Give a brief intro about India’s food production
- Briefly explain India’s food production status when we became independent and the current status using data/graph
- Discuss how India achieved this status
- Mention the role India can play- ex: global food crisis
- Way forward- futuristic/organic/water conserving etc