26 November, 2020

From Prosperity To Protest

Punjab was the pioneer, poster state of the Green Revolution…those days are long gone. Is it really only terrorism and drugs that displaced it? Or was it excess farming?

Photograph by PTI
From Prosperity To Protest
outlookindia.com
2020-11-21T12:41:26+05:30

Punjab was India’s pioneering state in agriculture. The state symbolised the country’s green revolution success in the mid-1960s with high yielding varieties of wheat and later rice raising productivity levels. This success helped the nation to free itself from the PL-480 food aid. The state’s agricultural growth surged at an unprecedented 5.7 per cent from 1971-72 to 1985-86, double the rate of the all-India average agricultural growth rate of 2.31 per cent during the same period.  Punjab’s dizzying success in agriculture was mainly due to four factors: first massive public investment in irrigation, second the introduction of high yielding variety seeds, third increased rural connectivity by constructing all-weather roads, and fourth the linking of agri- markets with the farmers.

Unfortunately, religious extremism in the mid-1980s created havoc in Punjab. The surge in grain production in the state dramatically declined to touch the country’s average of 3 per cent from 1986-87 to 2004-05. In the following period, the downturn in...

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