Various Agricultural Revolutions in India after Independence and Their role in Poverty Alleviation and Food Security in the Country – Explained

Updated December 22, 2022

India is primarily an agricultural economy as agriculture is the main aspect that contributes to the national income of the country. Even today the two-third population of the country is still dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Apart from agriculture people also are involved in different aspects of farming like poultry, dairy farming, animal husbandry, and fishing, etc. After independence, the agricultural sector in India has experienced great development and that has been assured by various revolutions supported by the government.

Important Agricultural revolutions after Indian Independence

After independence, various revolutions like green, blue, white revolutions, etc. are witnessed by India in the farm, fishery, and dairy sector respectively.

Green revolution:

To achieve food security in the country, the green revolution was initiated. Food security means availability, accessibility, and affordability of food to all the citizens of the country at all times. There are various elements but the three basic elements of the Green Revolution in India are continued expansion of farming land, double cropping existing farmland, and using seeds with superior genetics.

Under the Green Revolution initiative, India witnessed a record grain output of 131 million tons in 1978-79, which was less than half earlier. The success of the green revolution established India as one of the world’s biggest agricultural producers. However, the green revolution strategy mainly benefitted large farmers. But the most important thing was it eliminated the concern of frequent famine occurring in the country and also the need for import of food. It had not only a positive aspect but some negative aspects too as several ecological issues arose with excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

White revolution:

Founder of Amul, Verghese Kurien is also known as the father of the white revolution in India, was the architect of Operation Flood which is considered to be the world’s largest dairy development program.

National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) started Operation Flood in the 1970s. This program was initiated to meet the objective of creating a nationwide milk grid. The result of the initiative was that India became the largest producer of Milk and Milk Products. Operation flood is called the White Revolution of India. Professionals were employed under this program at every level, particularly in marketing and application, and science and technology.

To connect rural producers with urban consumers was the central issue of the program. The establishment of a connection between rural producers and urban consumers resulted in boosting the production of milk. Production of Milk in India increased from a level of 17 MT  to about 100.9 MT in the duration of 50 years (1950- 2006) only. In 1950-51, the per capita availability of milk was 124 gm per day which increased to about 246 gm per day in 2006-07. Thus, this led to poverty alleviation and food security in India.

Blue revolution:

Under the initiative of the blue revolution, great development can be seen in the fisheries sector. 50 years ago, only 600 000 tonnes of fish were produced by the Indian fisheries sector which has increased  5 million tonnes today, including 1.6 million tonnes from freshwater aquaculture. In addition, to contribute towards food and nutritional security through maximum utilization of water resources for fisheries development in a sustainable manner, the blue revolution is also being initiated to meet the objective of the economic prosperity of fishermen and fish farmers. Development in a sustainable manner means keeping in view the bio-security and environmental concerns.

Other Important Agricultural Revolutions

In addition to the green, blue, and white revolution, various other important revolutions took place in agriculture after independence in India. These revolutions also played an important part in poverty alleviation and food security in India. Some of them are listed below.

Silver revolution: 

It was initiated for the development in the practice of raising poultry, such as chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, etc. Animal husbandry is practiced for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food. It was started by Indira Gandhi in 2000.

Grey revolution: 

It is associated with fertilizers. It was initiated to increase the manufacturing of fertilizers in India. it is a post of the green revolution which is associated with the greenery and post of this, Grey revolution came. The period between 1960-1970 is known as the Grey revolution period.

Golden Revolution:

It associated with fruit, honey, and horticulture production. The Golden revolution program was launched for the better production of fruit, honey, and horticulture. Nirpakh Tutaj is the father of the Golden revolution.  The period between 1991 to 2003 is known as the period of the Golden Revolution in India.

Pink Revolution:

It is meant for better Pharmaceuticals, Prawns, Onion production. It was initiated in 1970. Durgesh Patel Is known as the father of the pink revolution in India.

Red Revolution:

It is related to the production of meat and tomato. Red revolution aimed for better meat and tomato production. The program was launched in 1980. Vishesh Tiwari is known as the father of the red revolution in India.

Yellow Revolution:

It is associated with the production of Oilseed. Yellow revolution aimed for better oilseed production. The revolution was launched in 1986- 1987 to increase the production of edible oil, especially mustard and sesame seeds to achieve self-reliance. The period between 1986- 1987 is known as the period of the Yellow Revolution. Sam Pitroda was the architect of the initiative.

Role of these revolutions in poverty alleviation and food security

Millions of people have been lifted out of poverty through these agricultural revolutions. These innovations in agriculture helps in generating rural income opportunities for farmers, farm laborers, and also reduced prices for consumers.

The output of the green revolution initiative was so good that India has become self-sufficient in food grain production. Implementation of the Green revolution program increased the production of food grains enormously which helped India came out of PL-480 agreements, through which India imports food grains from the USA.

The white revolution was launched in 1970 for development in the dairy sector. It helps dairy farmers collectively to increase the production of milk. The effect of the initiative was so good that  India became the net exporter of milk. The exponential rise in milk production, not only increased the per capita availability of milk but also improved the food and nutritional security of the people.  And with this dairy farming community get benefited a lot.

Blue revolution focussed on the management of the fisheries sector and has led to a phenomenal increase in both fish production and productivity from aquaculture and fisheries resources of the inland and marine fisheries. And with these, the fishermen community get benefited and also provided food and nutritional security.

Also, these agricultural revolutions not only lifted out millions from poverty but also provided income and employment that has led women towards women empowerment. Thus, it can be seen in the above statement that these revolutions have a significant role in poverty alleviation and food security.

Way Forward

Everyone is familiar with fact that the population of the globe is increasing at rate speed. So keeping this in view,  there is an urgent need for an ‘evergreen revolution’ that should focus on the all-round development of the agriculture sector to further carry on the momentum of these programs and assure food security in long run. Recently an evergreen revolution, also called a rainbow revolution, is started by the Government of India which focuses on all aspects of agriculture pertaining to various products, it is

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