Post-Green Revolution Situation
Punjab – most concerned state and the visit of foreign scientists
Punjab is the state which is most comprehensively concerned with the Post-Green Revolution. According to Dr. Francine R. Frankel, Director, Centre for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania, and Prof. Douglas V. Verney, Adjunct Professor and Fellow at the same institution, the Punjab situation has no parallel in the world.
Food deficit changed into a food surplus
No doubt, the Green Revolution in Punjab transformed India from a food deficit into a food surplus country. But in the process, Punjab had to suffer a lot in several ways. For example, in matters such as environment, depletion of subsoil water, etc.
MSP and Punjab’s loss
According to the learned scientists, certain factors such as governments’ assured minimum support price (MSP), procurement (by government agencies), etc. have led to complacency which has adversely affected the farm produce and made it uncompetitive in the world market. Then unscientific storage, absence of diversification, and high indebtedness of farmers even leading to several suicides have further deteriorated the situation.
It has to be noted that, in reality, free supply of electricity to farmers has not much helped them, particularly the marginal and small farmers, who are more concerned with continuous and uninterrupted power supply. A hike in the price of fertilizers has also caused grass hardship to farmers.
Govt. complacency and Panchayat’s role
Prof. Verney was of the view that Panchayats could play a major role in agricultural growth and rural development.
There emerged a strange situation where stocks of wheat and rice the government had stockpiled for which there were no buyers in the world.
No doubt, certain panchayats in Punjab had been trained under UNICEF to deliver the goods. Yet, the fact remained that the Punjab agricultural produce lacked in quality, competitiveness, food processing facilities and technology, and participation of women. The learned scientists thought that better remunerative returns to farmers could be ensured by the greater role of corporate investment in agriculture and by giving specific attention to food processing and marketing. For this, there was immense scope as the international market was vast enough for Indian farm produce provided it could become competitive in quality and price.
The monsoon is still an important factor in Indian agriculture and its failure leads to the failure of crops on a large scale. The only answer is proper water management for irrigation purposes.