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India's Green Revolution Author(s): Biplab Dasgupta Source: Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 12, No.

6/8, Annual Number (Feb., 1977), pp. 241243+245+247+249+251+253+255+257+259-260 Published by: Economic and Political Weekly Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4365324 Accessed: 18/09/2010 04:24
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While these studies contain many common elements and cover c. Besides. Among the crops. subject to the constraints of data. we have tried to be cautious in our interpretation of data. who formed the BACKGROUND backbone of the ruling party's support in the countryside. by then us.as well as the weak ones. it is only fair 241 . Karnal and Hissar (Haryana). Four of these microstudies were undertaken in wheat producing areas: Ferozepur (Punjab). such as tion but to seek self-sufficiency in food poverty. while increasing land productithe introduction of the new high yieldvity and food surplus. In particular it seeks to identify the factors which explain the success of the initial period with HYV as well as stagnation of the period following the peak year of 1971 and then.co and Philippines.care of the other problems. these ted States. The government The economic conditions in India was therefore looking for an alternative during the mid-sixties. Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh) and Kotar (Rajasthan). per capita income reached its low water It was against this background that mark. these were conducted more or less independently in terms of research design and methodology. for the future. I . These have been purposely selected to highlight some of the essential features of the areas where the new varieties have been introduced on a relatively large scale. One way of achieving this was by arranging a more egalitarian distribution of land under the given technology. an overwhelming part of the increased production had to come by way of increase in the produictivity of land. of food deficient countries. The country was heavily de. and of producing enough both thesis that by 1975 there would be to match the population increase and widespread famine in different parts of to clear the enormous backlog of nutrithe world. major industries were severely hit by recession. unemployment. In India's case winning the war against the unpredicthis uncertainty turned into horror when table monsoon by stabilising food prothe Paddock brothers put forward their duction. to indicate the future scope of the highThe author attempts. to a policy of discriminating in favour of strong poin-.2 The Paddock brothers considered is the new technology 'revolutionary' in India a hopeless case. identify the factors wthich explain the initial success of the HYV as well as the stagnation following the peak year of 1971.Sambalpur and Sahabad (three eastern region districts) . This study is a part of a bigger worldwide study on the social and economic impact of high-yielding varieties sponsored by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. In addition to Global 2 micro-studies. the 'vote banks'. With a decade's exthe maximum number from death perience with the new seeds behind would be for the United States. while the coverage of other crops is not too good. The first and foremost question is.and one on rice from a wheat-producing area Gurdaspur (Punjab). the possibility of of resources and benefits. in rice producing areas North Arcot (Tamil Nadu) and Burdwvan. yielding varieties programmein solving India's food problem. it tries to. common set of issues. as many of the empirical studies conducted during the sixties showed the smaller holdings to be more productive than their larger counterparts. There is no standardised data format applieable to all the studies. but their statistical significance remains suspect.)a irtictilatr. we are now able to assess its peridentify its the only food surplus country. to adopt formance objectively. pendent on food imports from the Uni. rice and wheat have been extensively examined in these studies. could be pursued ing seed varieties. maldistribution production. there arrival was expected to herald an era of was uncertainty about the ability of the growing prosperity. Not crease in food production possible? everyone took the Paddock brothers' Since the protagonists of the new techthesis seriously. their a heavy political price. to indicate. the future scope of the high-yielding programme in solving India's food problem. and have refrained from jumping to conclusions without corroboration from a good number of other studies. THE main objective of this study is to examine the social and economic consequences of the introduction of highyielding varieties to India. However. in the light of this examination. for which India had to pay were greeted as 'miracle seeds'. Hopes were raised food-surplus countries in the world to of achieving at long last the cherished continue to supply the nieeds of the goal of self-sufficiency in foodgrains. but this could not be accomplished without hurting the rural elite.1 DATA BASE drawn from these studies are indicative of the main trends. were the worst ever without upsetting the existing agrarian during the post-Independence period: structure. It is also important to note that these studies do not constitute a random sample of India's rural area. However. we have used evaluation reports prepared by PEO and various AERCs. and listed her the limited sense of making a rapid inunder 'can't be saved' category. which implies that the results from individual micro-studies are not easilv amenable to statistical manipulation excepting for crude averages. The main data base of the study consists of seven micro-level studies wndertaken in different parts of India under the auspices of the UNRISD Global 2 project. but it was clear that nology have made production their the supply and demand conditions in strongest argument. and the only way to save tional deficiency. on the eve of which. hoping that inthe world food market was decidely creased production through a technological revolution would eventually take turning against India. were introduced. The conclusion increasing food production through extension of land under cultivation was limited.India's Green Revolution Biplab Dasgupta This paper examines the social and economic consequences of the introduction of high-yielding varieties in Indian agriculture.Because of their very high yields. There was therefore virtually no op. only those countries who could be saved. imported from Meximounting. unemployment was the new varieties. in the light of this examiniation.

in fact. but. This is not to suggest that India would have been better off without the high yielding varieties or that without these the country's food production figures would have followed the historical trend. and given the country's socio-political structure. India in the late sixties and the early seventies cpuld have been visited by large-scale starvation and famines. to warrant any confident assertion with regard to the new trend rate of growth in foodgrains output. like the Small Farmers Development Agency. If the production conditions prevailing in the wheat production in Ferozepur or Ludhiana were universal in the country as a whole.3 million ton increase of that year came from the states which are poorly endowed with irrigation water and which had not been subjected to the influence of the new technology: Rajasthan (4 million tons). even these confinn the considerable production potential of the new high yielding varieties. from 1972 to 1975 characterised by unfavourable weather. THiREE PHASES ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY gramme. In that sense the new seeds have prevented a disaster. it showed the continued vulnerability of the Indian agriculture to bad weather: "if nature can be bountiful in one year. Without the contribution of the new varieties to land productivity. Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat (another 2. the statewise figures suggested that most of the 8. we should be cautious in reading too much from the data for only one year.7 million tons). In general. there was no solid statistical foundation for the uncontrolled optimism of the government in the early seventies. the smaller farmers would succeed in overcoming their initial disadvantage. Imports declined from 10 million tons in 1966 to 2 million tons in 1971.5 per cent a year) is less than the historical growth rate during the pre-HYV period with a less advanced technology. affected the yield . the rate 'of growth in food production (at 2. Bihar. The food production consistently declined. On the negative side. in time. food imports began soaring again. In the case of rice. the spread of the new technology to less resourceful areas and farmers. from a low figure of 0. and the overall food production increased from a low 72 million tons to 108 million tons. The high yielding varieties programme. at least for The period since the introduction of high yielding varieties can be conveniently divided into three phases. As in 1971. and with the full knowledge of the continued dependence of India's agriculture on monsoon. The objective of self-sufficiency in foodgrains seemed as elusive as ever. While the overall acreage under HYV increased substantially. as viewed at the end of 1975. less than half of India's irrigated acreage would have been needed to fulfil the fifth-five-year-plan target of producing 140 million tons by 1978-79. The first phase. particularly rice which is the main food item in the country. It was expected that. it concluded. dependence on imports.Annual Number February 1977 that its success or otherwise would be largely judged against the criterion of production. a serious shortage of inputs and a consequent deterioration in their qual ty. the production increase in Punjab. with an estimated food production of 116 million tons. or even in the irrigation tracts. the response of the government was to intensify its research programme for breeding viable high-yielding rice varieties. The literature of the period. was no more than a hundred thousand tons in that year. it can be niggardly in another".45 million tons in 1972 to 7. Despite the impressive performance of the new varieties in some regions. however. 1975-76. while a technological breakthrough in breeding viable rice varieties would widen the scope of the pro242 The second phase.41 million tons in 1975. Figures from real life experience are much less dramatic. One study went as far as suggesting the possibility of producing ten tons per irrigated hectare. while attempts were made through the establishment of specialised agencies. there seems little basis here for the inference that the foodgrain output of the country in recent years has moved away to a higher growth path'. The fourth plan target of 129 million tons of food by 1973-74 looked feasible. a great deal of it through the adoption of high yielding varieties and their associated inputs. from the new varieties. The conclusion the Commission drew from these figures was that the high figure of 1970-71 reflected the unusually favourable weather of that year. The modest production increase during the late sixties was largely a product of increased land productivity. It is true that the results from controlled field experiments fully justified this claim. harvest failure. including the latest and the best year. but with the experience of one full decade under the new technology behind us. the miracle in food production anticipated in the mid-sixtieN could have happened. to cater for special needs of the underprivileged sections in the countryside. from 108 million tons to 101 million tons. there was widespread feeling that at long last India's food problem could be solved with the aid of 'miracle seeds' and the country's dependence on imports of food would end. As the Agricultural Prices Commission in the heady days of 1970-713 noted. marked an end to the declining trend in food production with the highest ever production figure for the country. Taking the entire HYV period into account. with better access to credit and information. although the bumper crop of that year had swung the pendulum 'full length from the psychological trough of the exceptional drought years of 1965-66 and 1966-67 to a new peak of optimism marked by a certain pre-occupation with the problems of plenty. from 1966 to 1971 was characterised by a rapid increase in the area under HYVs. vindicated the cautious stance of the Agricultural Prices Commission. and famine conditions in various parts of the country. the previous peak year. on that basis. were visible again. All the familiar problems of pre-HYV era. the heartland of the new technology. and the available observations therefore too few. and the growing inequality in the countryside largely because of the early adoption of new varieties by the larger farmers and the institutional bottlenecks which were preventing the small farmers from participating in the programme. limited to only one year. Not only that the experience with the new varieties until then was too short. expressed two types of worries. seemed to have reached a state of stagnation. Whereas most of the increase in the food production in the fifties came from an expansion of acr-eage under cultivation during the sixties only a marginal increase in production could be accomplished by extending acreage. the first phase of the HYV programme was characterised by a mood of optimism. The third phase. the relative failure of the HYV programme among non-wheat crops. those in authority are presently claiming the inauguration of an era of plenty. In contrast.

The neglect of this need for the of HYV rice cultivation compared to renewal of stock is an important factor HYV wheat cultivation. the farmer should now know which type of insecticide to use and by how much according to the type of insect to which the particular variety 243 . even with wheat varieties which have so far performed quite satisfactorily in this res pect.is still gress with research in breeding and is qtuite hiigh.also suffer from the high variability of output due to their susceptibility to pestattack. was an unmitigated disaster and. particularly tractors. The farmer should now know how much fertiliser to use in which. the bottleneck created by the need to complete the land preparation for the new crop soon after the harvesting of the previous crop can be more easily removed with machines. the new seeds both in terms of acreage and the pro. On the other hand.type of soil. A controlled water supply is another essential inputt since even too much water is bad for the new dwarf varieties unsuited tc flooded conditions. can be defined in terms of a package of agricultural inputs and new agricultural practices. The high-yielding varieties for the oth three major crops . the new breeds which can adapt themselves to varieties require regular renewal. how does one explain the differences in performance of the new varieties between the period up to 1971 and the subsequent period? Why the technology was more successful with wheat. sets of problems. for the new varieties the tests and trials have just begun. the probhave. Thirdly. Varieties equipped to cop" with one set of pests might be confronted after a few years of success with another set which had remainedi 'MIRACLE SEEDS' dormant for many years and for whom Considering the seeds first it is clear the former created favourable conditions from the experience over the past ten for growth. The battle with pests and diseases canniot be won overnight. the high in an environment which helps the tumover confuses the illiterate and breeding of insects and pests. The new technology follows a new crop calendar. the hopes raised by the new varieties in the early years have been dashed by the reality of their performance. What explains the dismal performance of the new varieties? WVas there something wrong with the seeds themselves? Or with the complementary inputs? Should the explanation for this be sought in the new agricultural strategy accompanying the new seeds and inputs? Did the fauilt lie with the institutional framework within which the new strategy was ptut into operation? A related question is. when and in what proportion between nitrogen. acquitted themsel.This the variability of their output over in one sense indicates the rate of proseasons. sorghum and millet .the success Annual Number February 1977 proper machinery for the certification of seeds for preserving their quality and guaranteeing against adulteration. particularly 1.e g. As the human experience years that the high yielding wheat seeds in other fields shows . but this is as far as one could say to their credit. the path followed by food production figures continues to run almost parallel to the graph of weather index. While the shortei maturing period of the new varieti'as permits double-cropping. which have been developed through selective breeding to be highly responsive to fertiliser input. scientists can ill afford to relax their although over the last two years there guard in this continuous battle with have been reports of some decline in nature. The 'green revolution' also incorporates a package of new agricultural practices. without insecticides and weedicides its output would be highly variable. although varieties introduced in subse.of DDT-resistant mosquitoes . and in Punjab? the new technology in future is conditional on its ability to achieve a breakthrough in breeding a new rice variety which will combine the high yielding properties with a high degree of resistance of pests with ability to grow with rain water.A major problem with HYV important from the point of view of r-ice seeds is that these are cultivated future production.cularly in cases of hybrids. Each new input brings with it a new set of cultural practices.ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY the time being. partithe monsoon has so far met with limit.are often of low quality due to inadeportion of population for whom it is quate germination tests and seed-treatof ment arrangements. in cases of rice and hybrid varieties. whereas the ed success. years and regions . and without resort to mechanisation its potential for multiple cropping would remain underutilised.Most varieties are being replaced by quent years have proved themselves less the new and better ones within two vulnerable to pest attacks and diseases. All these inputs together form a 'package'. Efforts to produce a change is made. NENv INPUTS AND PRACICELS The technology of 'green revolution the name given to the technology associated with the new seeds. on the whole. Firstly. The core of this package is the 'miracle seed' discussed above. The experience The new seeds also face three other with rice varieties tells a different story. The agriculture in India is almost as much a prey of the unpredictable monsoon today as it was until the mid-sixties. Secondly. production due to rust. given the shorter maturing period of the new varieties and the possibilities of multiple cropping. or three years of their introduction. and a lack of a thoe main food item . Given the im behind the declining yield of high yielportance of rice in Indian agricultureding varieties. have led to increased use of pesticides and weedicides with the HLVs. Whereas the traditional varieties have passed through nature's selection process under a variety of conditions over hundreds of years and have bzcome a part of the eco-system.lem of malaria control with the growth ves well in terms of productivity. and the two together form the high-yielding the technology of varieties. The traditional farmer who is forced to reunsuitability of the dwarf rice varieties vise his crop calendar and learn a new in flooded monsoon conditions is ano. Similarly.maize. The vulnerability of the nev seeds (particularly of rice and hybrid crops) to pest attacks and -the fertiliserinduced growth of weeds. and with desirable culinary characteristics to make its production worthwhile to the great: majority of subsistence farmers.the resistance and culinary characteristics. Taichung Native over rate of the varieties.set of agricultural practices every timo ther major problem. which largely explains the traditional farmer is not used to buying hiigh uncertainty and low profitabiliLy seeds. New seeds without wa-er and fertiliser would be unable to realise its full potential. the high turnThe first seed variety. pest. with yield figures much higher than those for both traditional and locally improved varieties. However. phosphate and potash. The 'package approach' is a major feature of the 'new agricultural strategy associated with HYVs.

These three factors. In the case of wheat. notably Japan. on the basis of field experiments. home-made tools. 245 . villages where the new varieties were introduced in the second phase were more likely to suffer from this untimely arrival as their transport and storage facilities were comparatively less developed. have faced institutional difficulties in gaining access to the benefits being distributed by the co-operatives. the small farmers do not always obtain these inputs in time. The success of the new varieties during this phase largely reflected the rich endowment of the host areas. and the presence of a group of rich farmers who were prepared to experiment with the new technology.not known for its efficiency in the best of times . manure produced bv farm animals. the high cost of HYV cultivation is more than neutralised by high productivity per unit of land and a lower cost per unit of output than its traditional counterpart. although growing. The domestic production of fertiliser. now became a major obstacle to production and import growth. hired labour and hired agricultural machinery. in the second phase. the estimates showed that even by the end of the seventies more than two-thirds of the cultivated land would remain unirrigated. these are often dependent on markets outside the country.) The maintenance of the standard of inputs which was not easy. while even a most optimistic estimate of the available tractors showed that by the end of the seventies only about 3 per cent of the total cultivated land would be covered. family-owned bullocks. In the first phase the available inputs were applied to a selected number of areas which were known for their developed infrastructure. seed drills. since the administrative apparatus . the new technology was now spreading to arreaswhich were not Annual Number February 1977 so fortunate with respect to water availability and other resources. in addition to several bad monsoons. Therefore. tractors. Farmers using tractors. The of fertiliser. particularly among the poorer sections who cannot afford the heavy financial demands of the new technology. some of the major characteristics of the new inputs are as follows: (a) Market-orientation. The same is true of the other petro-chemicals. Among the inputs the prices of 'indivisibles' like tractors and tubewells are too high for anybody but the richest among the farmers to afford. At the village level. the scarcity of inputs led to a deterioration in their quality. is a long way behind the domestic need even at a much lower level of input per unit of land than many other countries of the world. Besides.came under considerable strain with the spread of the new technology. the new strategy faced a seri-s of difficulties. Given the above three characteristics of the modem inputs. the oil crisis of 1973 dealt a new technology. Secondly. (If account is taken of adulteration. institutional credit being responsible for less than one-tenth 'of the total. particularly the poor landless and tenants. However. Not only was the dosage often inadequate. Similarly. Thirdly. the scarcity of inputs also had its effect on the timeliness of their supplies. In particular. Unlike the traditional cultivation. as more of the less developed areas were being brought under cultivation. Not only that the modem input. pesticides and herbicides. WVhile the use of these inputs is spreading among small farmers. the primary co-operative societies are responsible for allocating credit. the rigid lending practices followed by the land mortgage banks and commercial banks. the intensive application of inputs. A kind of Ricardian Law was in operation. In the absence of storage facilities at the village level. the amount of input available per unit of land would appear even less satisfactory in the second phase. First of all. the picture is unclear with respect to rice. their availability in the country is largely conditional on the competing demands on the scarce foreign exchange resources of the country from various sectors of the economy and on their price. where the farmer largely uses the last year's seed. and of modern farm machinery. In contrast. irrigation pumps and other farm machinery. and largely because of bureaucratic formalities associated with their functioning a large part of the inodest amount made available through them has not been disbursed. The picture is hazy with respect to the other crops. Often bad transport systems prevented the timely arrival of the inputs. are market-oriented. threshers. particularly irrigation and credit facilities as well as a developed transport and communication network. chemical fertiliser. this is making them increasingly dependent on their richer counterparts.ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY of seeds is vulnerable. that the new seed varieties are more productive than the traditional ones even when these are not applied in conjunction with fertiliser. it was necessary that the inputs would be supplied at the right time. it is not surprising that the progress of the new varieties came to a halt after 1971. and family labour as the major inputs. Most of the money for financing the purchase of new inputs has come from the farmers themselves. in the case of fertiliser. particularly their insistence on security have made it almost impossible for the poorer farmers to get financial support for buying indivisibles. and other inputs were not expanding as fast as the spread of the new technology. heavy blow to the dependent as it was on imported energy. while the cultivation of HYV wheat seems worthwhile. and so on should learn their use and maintenance. and the quality poor. with further expansion of HYV programme. particularly rice. It is often argued. and a remarkably favourable run of good weather for three years. largely explain the failure of the new technology during the second phase. As for irrigation. the owners naturally preferring to give priority to their own needs. the input constraint. the four-fold increase in prices following the oil crisis discouraged demand by so much that the country even managed to show a surplus out of the available meagre supply. (c) Impoit and energy intensity. (b) High cost. In terms of profitability also. which was not so serious in the first phase. many fairmers. Compared with traditional agricultural inputs. it is imperative that institutional credit bears a significant proportion of the total cost. and the oil needed for driving the tractors. the new technology makes him dependent on the market for the supply of new seeds.

attempt was made to enlist their support to the exclusion of the rest of the village population. the smaller farmers could not be expected to give tip the traditional varieties and practices unless the yield differential was substantial. The environmentalists also argue against the use of pesticides which pollute the environment and cause the death of non-target organisms (like birds. it is important to know to what extent the new varieties. The arguments put forward by the protagonists of the new technology on this issue are as follows: (a) While it is true that initially the new technology is adopted by the large farms. The question of distribution was considered a separate issue to be handled through suitable fiscal and relief measures. (b) The new technology. In areas where the new strategy has been successful in terms of food production. it deserves serious attention. which puts the future production possibilities in these areas at risk. The rationale behind this strategy was quite simple: given the limitations of supply of modern inputs. It may also be asked whether a more viable alternative would not have been to seek a technology which largely relied on indigenous inputs and recyclable resources. While this selective strategy was successful in the resourceful wheat areas of Haryana and Punjab. The selective approach of the new agricultural strategy stood counter to the declared objectives of the commuunity development or co-operative movement of involving the masses in rural development. to cultivate the new seeds withb out fertiliser might lead to an alarming decline in soil fertility in the long run. Rather than smashing or even . brings additional income to all sections of the rural population including 247 DISTBUIION GAEs Having examined the major limitations of the 'green revolution' technology in offering a lasting solution to India's food problem. widespread installation of tubewells and pump sets in some areas of Punjab has caused the water table there to fall. there would be plenty of food and employment for the poor. It is important to know to what extent the drastic decline in the number of planted varieties with the large-scale adoption of the standardised new varieties is exposing the globe's agriculture to a serious risk of a gigantic crop failure due to an epidemic. past performance and fulfilment of other criteria set up by the government. over time its use would 'percolate down' to even the smallest of farmers. like the one associated with the HIWs can ever work. For example. this strategy called for the intensive use of 'package' of inputs. through district to block . and capital-intensive technology. put forward the view that the 'access to resources' is not scale neutral. let us now briefly examine the 'new agricultural strategy' within the framework of which it was introduced. while accepting that the technology is 'scale neutral'. and within these areas the selection of 'progressive farmers' (who were usually the larger farmers) for the distribution of inputs. Secondly. SELECTIVE STRATEGY AND OF Annual Number February 1977 weakening the village power structure through land reform and other measures. with its strong emphasis on mechanisation and modernisation of agriculture. given the heavy loss of soil nutrient caused by HYV cultivation (which is barely compensated by the present level of fertiliser use). The unregulated. Rather than thinly spreading the inputs over a large area and among many farmers. Some. the allocation was done on the basis of a list of farmers prepared by the Village Level Worker. This by itself cannot be a strong argument against the new technology since too much concern for the prevailing eco-system is inimical to any measure for change and progress. The allocation of inputs at each level of administrativehierarchy -from state. are vulnerable to another set of pests and diseases. quality and timing of inputs which arise when the HYV acreage is extended beyond a small number of richly endowed enclaves. But to the extent this argument is a warning against experimentations whose likely consequences on the ecosystem are unknown. the severe limitations on input supply. and which could be more easily blended with local landscape. and vast human resources. whit were not so apparent as long as the HYV cilltivation was restricted to a small area. this argument need not be taken too seriously. if this strategy succeeded. culture. This is largely because of various constraints on the supply. No less important is the impact of the new technology on another highly important natural resource: undergrouind water. given the present low level of pesticide use in the country. and perhaps also to less prosperous farmers. fishes and many other living creatures). which helps to increase output and employment. The cornerstone of the new agricul tural strategy of 1965. Perhaps the most serious environmentalist argument against the new technology is that it disrupts the existing ecological balance. although. But when attempts were made to extend HYV coverage. energy-intensive. the Inequality evi denced in the early years would gradually disappear. At the village level. became evident.was dependent on its resource endowments. In the first place given the heavy investment required for introducing the new seeds plus the uncertaintyassociated with it. an import-intensive. s Our study clearly shows that even on purely technical grounds the new technology is not viable in the Indian context. and the creation of special agencies for target groups. In the light of these factors it is questionable whether in a country wlhich is deficient in energy and capital and whose capacity to import is limited. was its selective approach: selection of areas endowed with a favourable inf*astructure. it was realised by the late-sixties that the food problem for the country as a whole could not be solved without extending HYV cultivation to new areas. while resistant to one set of pests and diseases.ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY Even if this is true its implication cannot be that the new technology can (lo without fertiliser. and some other pockets of India. Through the new agricultural strategy. the calculation was. It presented a technical solution to the country's food problem and bypassed the insiitutional issues. and the tendency towards double cropping and a declining share of fallow land. Therefore. it is argued by several researchers that its introduction has favoured the richer farmers. Some argue that the bias against the small farmers is built into the new technology by the very costly nature of the inputs. the role of indivisibles like tractors and also by the selective strategy accompanying the new technology. these should reach those areas and people who are likely to make their most optimum use. the govemment chose to rely on modem inputs and 'progressive farmers' for increasing land productivity.

or even more than. Our studv also slhows that once thevy decide to adopt the new seeds they usually put a higher proportion of their acreage under it than their larger counter parts. To what extent this relatively low luced by our study is the growing skewnless in the distribution of assets. leaving aside the question to what extent the increase reflects definitional changes between the two census years. Annual Number February 1977 very little impression.assets. Attemupts made by the government menited. It is very clear from. some of them move to agricultural labour as the primary occupation. and in the case of the economy of a poor country. However.higlhly skewed indeed. compared to the figure for land tegories. but these do not indicate the time span over which such occupational shift had taken place. one and to secure a yield which is no would expect a somewhat less skewed worse. wbere the smaller the growing inequality in the land discuiltivate their land more inten. the mechanised farms above irrespective of whether the income 30-40 acres enjoy a clear advantage distribution has worsened withn the inin terms of costs and profits than their troduction of the new technology.tain their advantage over the smaller creasing. 'per-colation' tlheory. it is true that over time the new technology is spreading to smaller farmers. among the large (c) The tendency landowners to conceal a part of the land under their ownership or operation. unlike traditional agriculture. one should be tion. even the use of tractors. many of the benefits of the agency have been rc'aped by richer farmers who. because of thc operation of inheritancce laws. and partly because of litarian land distribution: the higher earning capacity generated (a) Oxver time. again it is not clear bow much of it has been -'e result of the agricultural crisis of thte first half of the sixties and how mucl a product of the 'green revolution'. the profit is largest for farms of careful about reading too much from fi10 acres plus size category. cause of the hindrances created by socio-political structures of the v'llage life in India.tribution is partly tempered by lack of farnmers sively in terms of both family laboum any positive finding on the impact ol and other inputs and show a higher the new. at least statistically. The Small Farmer's Development Agency is no more than a subsidy-giving agency which operates with an inadequate administrative backup through the existing credit institutions. Among various size ca. a more ega. Since the smaller holdings their larger counterparts. The cost advan. WVhathas been the effect of the new technology on the life and work of the 249 . it is highly unlikely ihat a small farmer would part with tne land in his possession excepting as a last resort.ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY the very poor and landless. But this by itself does not constituite firm evidence in suippo-rt of the and assuming the possibility of some of the landowning households (usually the ones with dropping off smaller holdings) the list of such households throland. under the usuiallv earn from many diverse sources.farms partly because of their greatei lowing. of their transfer ugh tendency tothere would be wards a more egalitarian land distribution among the landowning households.to remove the handicaps of the smaller usually take into farms by creating special agencies to glures cio not lookd after their interests have mzade account the landlless househlolds.ers and 1anants. It is clear that a large pioportion of the new entrants to the agricultural labouir force are former tenants who have been evicted by tlhe resumption of land by self-cultivating owners.the larger farms would be able to reness in the (listribution of land is in. by manipulating records and the administration. although it might bring relativelv more income to the richer sections. which is gures of income of rural households.technology on income distriproduction figure per unit of land than bufion. This shows that in future Oturstudy clearly shows that the skew. lhave presented themselves eligible as beneficiaries.come. partipr-ofitability of snmaller farms has affecte. new technology. one smaller neighbours. partly because of administrative drawbacks and partly be. threshers and other farm machinerv are expanding among the smaller farmers in areas where the new techlnology has been relatively successful.city based on the high value of 'heir asset holdings. as most evaluation reports on SFDA show. Although the Census data for 1971 indicate a radical increase in the percentage of households for which agriculture is the occupation. wheat. fertiliser or insecticide. Furthermore. although the concentration of land measured by taking into account all households would show an increase. asset and cularlv of farm assets like tubewells income in the 'green revolution' areas? and tractors. (b) Since the land distribution fi. The significance of our findings on Ouir studv shows that. Taking the first argulmentfirst. the smaller farms other things remaining the same. The most damaging piece of evidentaining family labour is added to the ce against the 'percolation theory' proaccounts of smaller farms.( the distribution of land. And. exclu-sively on farm business income.shotuld note that the distribution foi tages of the larger farms would seem any given time period or region is very greater if the imputed cost of main. the tendency is for whlile the larger farmns depend nearly the larger farms to input as much as. to avoid the ceiling laws or to make them eligible for concessions and benefits given to smaller holdings. than the yield figures for the distribution in terms of household insmaller farms. the by their ownership of productive farm lholdings woluld be getting frag. factors which would tend to credit-worthiness and risk-bearing capashiow. Some of the small farming households encage in ag-icultuiral labour as a subsidiary oocuption: over tinme with population increase and fragmentation of small holdings.distribution. Not only the use of divisible like seed. which are knowin for their bias against the small farm. in the case of rice cultiva. and tllis is despite the fol. SoIm1e of the studies for which data exist show that the percentage of agricultural labour households is much higher than the percentage of households with agricultural labour as their traditional occupation. In the absence of alternative employment opportunities in the village o r outside. the cxperiences of SFDA and similar othei agencies set up to cater for the special needs of the' unprivileged sections of the population that suclh administrative actiolns for target groups have little clhanice of success as long as the existing village institutions remain unreformed. large by standards of rice cultivation which is probably by far the most diffiin India and other par-ts of South and cult item to measure in the contpxt of South East Asia.

of resumption of land by the owners tions).4 Even the cautious report of the reform legislations passed during the Agricultural Prices Commission refer. with further advance in mechanisation. which makes it possible for the growers to depend on funds obtained from the sale of the first crop. Even the smaller households are being constrained to hire labour during haxrvesting. For a variety of reasons. thete is conflict between studies undertaken in different areas which used different cost of living deflators regarding the movement of real wages as a resuXltof the 'green revolution'. and are relyirng more on casual or contract lal-our.pendence an infrastructure favourable gate wheat production increased from to modem agriculture was built in that 10 to 24 million tons in five years be.took away land from the very large inance of wheat during the 'green r!(vo. there is a serious risk of a negative employment effect from it. by varieties were first introduced in Pun1973-74. the risk of massive attacks of insects It was the spectacular performance which thrive in damp conditions. The first to contribute to agricultui-al tween 1965-66 and 1970-71. particularly irrigation. who are opting out of work. while the mechanisation of ploughing operation has displaced human labour this has been more than offset by addi. . because of the preva1949-50 to 1964-65.5 "The wheat belt is more per cent in 1947 and 32. wheat. notably rice. By 1969yielding wheat varieties. ployees. it is dwarf crops in flooded conditions. both in Mexico 70.11 per cent in 1969degree of ecological and agro-climatic 70. the actual acreage unn'ls was ideally suited to make the best of HYV wheat at 11. is a second crop.89 per (who first developed them) and in had increased further to India (who through cross-breedirng cent. particularly in view of the increase in the participation of family iaS bour in cultivation. tracting workers from the neighbouring areas who are working as casual oi contract labour and are moving from village to village particularlv during harvest time. elie participation rate of the village population i-n the work force is declining.20 million hectares.jab. unlike the rice or millet introduced in a state where cultivation zones which are interpersed all over was largely undertaken by the owners the country". No less significant was per.state. In terms of yield per at the time of the country's Indepenunit of land. This made the adaptive themselves with the help of their emresearch in wheat relatively simpler. in the long run. progress was registered at the aggre. the percenitage haps the location factor. It is almost unbelievable today that far exceeded the targeted 7. noting.development in Punjab was the Ianid ards. To summarise while the new technology has expanded employment in the short run. a consider. as well as the old. this state year plan.7 Traditionally. which red to above noted that the perform. To quote of tenancy holdings dropped from 47. tional employment created through a greater labour need for application of fertiliser. such work is now being performed by a smaller number of hired people. To quote Vyas again. reforms increased the area under the failed? The credit for this should go owner-occupiers from 51. both because of the sheer volume of work associated with highei productivity and also because of the time constraints when they are undertaking double cropping. lence of the ryotwari system but these when the other crops. or important to explain the success achithe harvesting of the crop under rain. and also due to increase in the area under double crop. the percentage of owner-occupiers 80. The aggre. Punjab was a food-deficit state.and eviction of tenarnts. But why wheat. there is a serious risk of a sudden decline in the nurner of labour days needed per unit of land.termediaries and vested those In nwnlution' period was at a much highlex er-occupiers. Punjab aglevel than suggested by the trend line riculture was always dominated by tli based on the production figures for owner-occupiers.a state which is today freely described gate level in the case of rice.8 The wheat growing areas are also co-tn The development of agriculture in paratively more developed in terms of the state was prompted in no smnal 251 ed the money income of all sections of the population. The introduction of machines has induced changes in the pattern of work. of the new technology on wheat production which earned it its nickname WHY IS PUNJAB ITS HEARTLAND? 'wheat revolution'. Wages are being paid mostly in cash."8 This enhances the capacity WHY IS IT 'WHEAT REVOLUTION'? of the farmers to innovate and take In the view of the failure of the new risks. or of the country. So the new technology was first uniformity.1947 to 66. Two other phenomena are worth. whereas virtually no dence. The richer houselholds are now dispensing with the services of their farm servants. the areas wkich have been successful in their application of the new technology are at. While the new technology has increas- infrastructure.2 V S Vyas.as the 'granary of India'. as most studies confirm. our study suggests that. and in certain regions due to its short-maturing period. the 'rabi' wheat did technology in meeting the expectations not have to face the problems of monof the officials. In addition. and probably also real income in some 'green revolution' areas (e g. Secondly.4 per cent in foremost to the breeders of the high. academics and lay pubsoon cultivation. with a wider application of tractors. and particularly of harvesters. While the amount of work has increased. there is no doubt that their relative position vis-a-vis 'the richer sections of the rural population has weakened over this period. "In most of the areas. particularly of the women and children. largely due to the phenomenon made them suitable to Indian concli. the last year of the fourth five. But over evement with the high-yielding wheat the two decades following Indevarieties was tremendous. even though the principal crop. such as the survival of lic alike on an aggregative basis.4 per cent in 1957. MWhile the amount of work in terms of labour days has increased. While the money wages have undoubtedly increased. and are economically more advanced than the rice or millet growing tracts. Wheat being a 'rabi' crop also helped.30 million hectares the new technology. Punjab and Haryana).ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY Annual Number February 1977 As regards emagricultural workers? ployment. largely because the degree of mechanisation of agriculture is still not high and in many places bullocks are still used alongside tractors. the achi. weeding and harvesting. and other activities. able achievement by almost any stand. By 1971-72 about It was fortunate that the new wheat two-fifths of the wheat area was brought under the new varieties. in the long run.5 per cent in or less a continuous area with a large 1957 to a small 19.early and the middle fifties. eved with wheat.

A village in Punjab today.t1 The mechanisation was partly helped by the larger size of the land holdiings fact that owneranid partly by the occuipiers dominatecl the tenurial system. and to move further away fromn its rivals in the hierarchy of states. whlo were interested in economising on labour costs and in reducing the problems associated with the supervision of a large labour force. hut there is no doubt about . Punjab's position was hlardly better than the average among the states. No doubt the agriculture in Punjab will be on its way up again in the near future. West Bengal and Kerala) which produce foreign exchange earning crops are to be allowed to encourage a shift in the cropping pattern in favour of food crops and against commercial crops in order to achieve state self sufficiency in foodgrains. West Godavari in Andhra). Canada. the degree of mechanisation was very high compared to other states. But the prosperity of Punjab's agriculture is now creating another problem: the widening disparity betveen regions in terms of their living standards. by himself. encouraged the familv members of even quite rich houLseholds to undertake cultivation. but Punjab is mzore vulnerable to it than others partly because of the degree of mechanisation of its agriculture and partly because its chief source of electricity is river-valley hydro-electricity projects whose power production suffered from low rain-fall. If the inequality widens. the migratory flows have increased to other states of India. WVhereas at the tine of India's Independence. location of industrial plants. It raises the fundamental issue about the exchange price between food and industrial goods and raw materials in inter-state dealings. very little research has been done so far to explore tlhe sociological. The prosperity built on the solid base of its agriculture has enabled the state to diversify its economn by promoting many industries. even introduction of the n-ew before the seeds. or how the procurement and distribution of food crops would be regulated. this will. Whereas there was not a sinig. their number stood at 20. achieved with gress was tractors and other farm machinery. on the one hand. The average holding size in Punjab is larger than in the rest of the country. It is also important to remember that. The availability of from the hydroelectricity. The actual amounit of remittance sent back by the Punjab workers in the Ulnited Kingdom. the development of credit and irrigation facilities. Ludhiana or Ferozepur). In addition. W17ithinthe state. the rate of growth of prodluction has slowed down after 1970-71.ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY Annual Number February 1977 prosperity of ineasure by the relative the state. by the early seventies tlhis state has emerged as the most prosperous among them. electricity. despite Punjab's preeminent role in this field. The relative success achieved in Harayana and some parts of Uttar Pradesh in tlhe successful adoption of the new technology can also be largely explained by the existence of some of the factors enumerated above in connection with Punjab: the high share of owner-occupier holdings. as well as to countries outside India. schools and hospitals. is also an important factor botlh in the adoption of farm machinery and in the growth of their servicing indlustries. whereas previously they shunned manual labour. and in 1970 it inwhiclh accreased further to 80. The experiences of Punjabis working in the army or living abroad but maintaining a regular contact with the village. was another contributory factor. in bringing them into contact with new ideas. Thb int-roduction of machines. Credit facilities also have been more generous and much less obstructive.10 two of the necessary conditions for the successful application of the niew technology.9 and a higlh percentage of the cropped area is irrigated. and so on. some areas have been more receptive of the new technology than others (e g. 253 On the financial side. Orver the years. is the high miof the population gration propensity miiigrants to and the practice of the send remittances in bulk back to theii villages for the purchase of land and maclhinery. East Africa and the United States can never be properly estimated in view of the role played by the 'black market' in foreign currency. while it will generate demand in the poorer states for a redistribution of gains through the national fiscal system. particularly in the eastern region. dark counterparts with muddy roads and mud-walled thatched roofed houses and very few social amenities in most other parts of the countrn. It is surprising that. WVith the spread of the new technology to newer areas. than in the other states. which again creates the opportunity for saving and remitting it back to the vilage for buying machinery. economic and political explanations behind this state'5 success.000 counted for the threshing of 98 per cent of the state's wheat area. developed roads. Punjab's agricultural progress w7as facilitated by the following two features of Punjab"s socio-economic life. or in other states with transport trade.14 It is the combination of all these factors which has made Punjab the heartland of green revolution in India. Secondly. Given India's experience of many l)attles fought between the states on border. or abroad as a factory hand in the foundiies. to what extent the fooddeficit states (e g. particularly fiscal autonomy. both in terms of the rich enl dowment of land as wvell as in terms of the motivation and ability of its people. the state has been severely affected by the power crisis. have also been valuable in widening their horizons. The issue here is not simply one of differential living standards between regions. or his relatives or acquaintances. Similar protubewells. in its turn. no less significant has been the long tradition of Punjabi village folk of work in the army. with brick-built houses.000 in 1964. even in Ptunjab. even to the small farmers. and the pr-esence of an enterprising group of rich farmers with a background in the army or outside the state with a high propensity to save and invest in productive farm assets. and hiow income generated from agricultural income would be taxed. First.'2 The availability of repair service facilities for farm rnachinerv in most of the medium-sized towns of the state meant that the su-bstitution of bullock and manual labour could be carried to a much greater extent in this state than was possible in other Indian states. a product of work in the army. WVhat has been said here about Punjab applies to enclaves of new technology in other parts of the country (e g. and in makiing them aspire for a better life. encourage the more prosperous states to ask for more autonomy.le thresher in 1947. largely electricity generation plants of the river valley projects. belongs to a different world from its pover-ty-stricken. The technological awareness of a Punjabi villager. the issue of state autonomy. all the problems discussed in relation to limitations of input capacity have also cropped up in Punjab.13 the impact of remittances sent by relatives working abroad on the purchase of farm machinery. despite its spectacuilar success in the earlier years. Besides. mainly in the transport business.

A technological breakthrough in the breeding of rice varieties adaptable to flooded conditions and pest-resistant can by itself push food production figures to new heights. there will be little scope for the intsoduction of the elements of modernisation and improved production methodology". without recognising the inconsistency in their argument. an overriding 'objective should be the enhancement of agricultural production. the aggregate cultivated area in India is larger. these do not account for the increased costs of modem inputs since October 1973.17 Another argued. It is important to note that our conclusions regarding some of the major social and economic consequences of the new technologyproletarisation of the peasantry and a consequent increase in the number and proportion of landless households. on the other hand. On the contrary. Furthermore. cost considered here is 'private cost'. Similarly. and to gain access to resources which were so far denied to them by the dominant village elite. and mobilisation of agricultural surpluses". is an important task of agricultural planners irrespective of the prevailing social system in the country concerned. Our study shows that. which is grossly undertilised in the countryside. coupled with its failure to use the most abundant indigenous resource: human labour. Selective breeding of seed varieties which are both robust and high-yielding.ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEIEKLY Annual Number February 1977 allocation of river water. As regards marketed surplus. can be generalised as the consequence of agricultural modemisation in a particular socio-political context characterised by the domination of village life by a powerful elite. there is no doubt that the growing inequality between areas. The technology associated with the new seed varieties needs to be evaluated in the specific socio-political context in which it is operating. would be required to replenish the fertility of the soil which loses an enormous amount of nutrient every time the new high-yielding varieties are cultivated. can be seen as an attempt by the government to solve the food problem of the country without upsetting tht existing land relations. farms enjoy an advantage over the smaller farms in terms of cost per unit of output. is another source of tension of this type. The phenomenon of migratory movement of landless labourers from less 'green revolution' privileged areas to areas for jobs. for example. compared to most other countries in the world the amount of cultivated land as a proportion of the total land mass is surprisingly high in India.of low participation rate in the work force in the modern. there is no firm evidence excepting in cases of very highly mechanised farming of the relationship turning positive. tractors and threshers can play a useful role in removing seasonal bottlenecks -tnder different social svstems. . but a significant feature of the data under HYV is that the proportionmarketed by the small farmers is increasing with time and further adoption. since the data was collected in 1971-72. whose supply is inadequate in comparison with the overall needs of the country's agriculture. With one-third of China's total land mnass. which benefited from the new technology and which did not. surplus. we have already noted. and a fall in the rate of participation of the village population in work alongside a substantial increase in the total work load . this should not be interpreted as suggesting that India's prospects for achieving selfsufficiency in foodgrains are non-existent. An altemative strategy of encouraging social participation of all sections of rural masses in rural development. and social ownership of major agricultural inputs is expected both to optimirsethe social use of their limited supply and to prevent the growth of inequality which arises from their private ownership. however. "If redistribution assumes the shape of a process of atomisation of land holdings. One leading advocate of the new technology commented. Nor would it be fair to conclude from the above discussion that the modern inputs are by themselves responsible for the adverse distributional effects of the new technology. would lead to growing tension among various nationalities and groups. both the traditional and the new technology demonstrate its positive relationship with farm size. mechanised agriculture. and so on. while the relationship between farm size and yield under the new technology is not negative as under traditional agriculture. The increased food production. the empirical evidence does not justify large holdings on grounds of larger output. to participate on an equal basis in the community activities. A radical land reform measure. would provide the necessary psychological support to the village small farmer and landless to look for a better life.15 In other words.'8 It is noteworthy that very often those who dispute the large farmer bias of the new technology argue in the same breath against land reform on the ground that the new technology would lose its efficiency in the hands of smaller holdings. the data suggest that the larger. Fertilisers. it would be well within the capacity of the available cultivated area to feed a population three times as large as the current population. what our present study suggests as consequences of the adoption of HYV technology. In the case of HYV wheat. and employment. the United States or Belgium. It relied heavily on those who had to lose most from a policy of radical land reform. particularly highly mechanised. If the yield figures in India were as high as those in Japan. "at this stage of economic growth and development in India. 'or the 'social cost' . particularly during the harvest time. The main criticism against the strategy incorporating these inputs is its selective approach and reliance on imported. Experiences in Kerala and West Bengal suggest that radical land reform is likely to be followed by an inlcreasein food production due to more 255 . growing concentration of land and assets in fewer hands and widening disparity between the rich and the poor households. capital intensive inputs. we have already noted.which does not allow for the subsidy element in the credit and input concessions attained by the farms purchasing machinery. The new agricultural strategy. Since agriculture in India would continue to be subjected to severe capital constraints for quite some time to come. However.closely correspond to those reached by the author's other study based on village level data of the pre-HYV period on the impact 'of agricultural modernisation. the issue of priority given to the members of a given state to employment there. while the lowering of ceiling might lead to reduction of output. "the major constraints on India's agricultural growth has been technical rather than institutional" 16 Another leading proponent of the new technology argued. would not by itself solve the major social and economic problems created by this new technology. POLIIICAL ECONOMY OF GREFN RE:VOLUIoN Although this paper has highlighted the main causes behind the failure of the new technology to substantially increase land productivity.

and the participants in the city's huge 'informal sectors'. while their non-implementation is evidence of the influence of the rural elite over the government machinery at the state level. The conflict between these two most powerful economic groups in the country . Lastly. the smashing of the village power structure through land reform would also provide the basis for the development of cooperative activities in the field of farming. the present rural elite is enterprising and very muchl rooted in the village socio-political system. This approach also ignores the necessity to squeeze the rich in the village in order to finance long term projects and to provide subsistence to the indusuturial workers without which the country would not develop. as Lipton or Griffin would like us to believe. based ion largescale food procurement. Furthermore. ignoring the powerful class of rich peasants and small landlords who have amassed a huge fortune from cultivation and exploitation of poor peasantry and the landless. land reform and taxation of agricultural income. on the one hand. On the contrary. in addition to the economic power it holds. while the food production is increased and distributed at a cheap257 . Experience in these two states.in terms of the percentage share of planned investment going to industry or urban areas that the latter is favoured by the gov- emment. Often. for feeding the population in the cities. is another indication of the considerable influence this particular group exerts over the government of the country. ignoring the slum dwellers. and outside India in Japan. where even the poor sections of the urban population have sided against the villagers. which were controlled by the industrial finance capital. These higher food prices have not helped the rural community as a whole.ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY Annual Number February 1977 intensive family labour input and care. but this they will continue to do as long as the inequality in the countryside persists and the rural elite is able to tie their poor neighbours with debt and other obligations independent of the procurement policy. as we have argued above. and would reduce the cost of food import so that more of the precious foreign exchange could be made available to import materials for industrial development. also suggest that even the most egalitarian distribution of land among the rural households would not necessarily make the farming units too small and non-viable. agriculture being a 'state subject' under the Indian constitution. co-operative farming. and the middlemen who either own storage capacity or are able to hire such capacity with their own or borrowed finance.20 The new agricultural strategy can be viewed as having been devised by the policy makers for resolving the essential conflict of interest between these two power groups on this issue. Moreover. many of whom live in more miserable conditions than the poorest in the village. from those who are likely to be affected most by it: the rich peasants and landholders. Nevertheless. and wrongly equates a policy of procuring food from this class or taxing their income with the exploitation of the countryside. The industrialists in India are deeply interested in a food policy which would provide their workers with a regular food supply at a cheap price. and so is much more difficult to remove. despite repeated pledges by the ruling party over the past decade. the rural elite its capable of makina its voice heard at the highest level of the government.'9 The major weakness of this approach is that it describes the rural population as a whole as the 'undexprivileged'. the rural elite wields an enormous amount of political and social power through its control over village institutions such as co-operatives and panchayati raj and through its contacts with the administration at different levels. The nationalisation of commercial banks. pavement traders. Moreover. some scholars have attributed India's failure in achieving self-sufficiency in food production to the supposed neglect of the country's agriculture by the Indian planners. one should recognise the role of the Indian industrial elite in the formulation of the country's food policy. all through the sixties. This view has been extended further to give an impression of a continuing 'class conflict' between the entire urban population. The issue now is not so much whether a radical land reform is necessary. Under this. while it describes the entire urban population as 'privileged'. it is all the more necessary that such land reform takes place and both land and capital is widely distributed among the rural households.is an important factor in the policy decisions of the government. The main opposition to a radical land reform programme comes. It is true that many poor farmers are forced to make 'distress sales' at the time of the harvest. this is certainly not the major issue in Indian agriculture. the 'cooperative' rural elite which has replaced the big zamindars and jagirdars after the first round of land reform. there is no factual evidence . in 1969. but whether the government has the necessary political will to implement it. while under the present set up the inequality of power makes such activities unworkable at the viLlage level.the industrial and rural elite . Given the inability of the new technology to make much headway under conditions of severe shortage of capital and foreign exchange. The partial election debacle of the ruling party during the fourth general election in 1967 was largely a consequence of the support given by a section of this elite to the dissident organisations because of their annoyance with the food procurement policy of the government. but only particular sections: rich farmers who contribute a large share of the marketed surplus. Which explains the support traditionally given by the industrialist lobby of the country to radical agricultural programmes. and to the mobilisation of a surplus from the countryside by the government through procurement policies. through its association with various political parties including the ruling party. and the decision to make a larger provision for rural credit could be interpreted as an attempt by the government to win over the largest possible section of this particular group. Unlike the landed gentry which lived in the city and took no interest in cultivation. and more often than not it is the increased food prices which have forced the manufacturing concerns to hike their prices in order to meet the inflated wage bill. nor is there any evidence that the terms of trade between the city and the countryside are in the former's favour. on the other. understandably. The very fact that the policy declarations of the Central government often include these elements reflects the influence of the industrial lobby over the government at the cenral level. and the entire rural population. and the need for an alternative technology with a high labour-land and labour-capital ratio. While the question of urbanrural balance is not unimportant. the food prices in India have increased faster than the prices of manufictured goods. The failure to impose an effective tax on the agricultural earnings of this class.

Kharif. op cit. Keith Griffin. 1971.17 thor's forthcoming book. D Macgrananlan. "Statistical 1969. it is even more difficult today as the former is now deeply entrenched in power in the Indian countryside.s. it is compatible with a programme for industrial development. Rabi. (forthcoming). G C Mandal. Kurien. particularly 19 20 21 Economic and Political Weekly (Annual Number). 4 Ministry of Agriculture. Report on AERC. Delhi (2). Allahabad. In India. "Conflicts and Joan P Mencher. 3 Mlinistrvof Agriculture. and which has been repeatedly pledged by the Indian government in the past. Bridget Dommen. (See Rao. 1968-69. The loan recovery rate. Kharif. Ohio State University (mimeoed draft). the new technology has strengthened them and the groups in control of them. An evaluayielding vation of the high rieties programme. 6 8 Notes 16 [This paper is mainlybased on the au. (Randhawa. the multinational corporations have not been allowed to play any part in the implementation of the HYV programme. In some countries 'of Asia (e g. Firstly. it has increased the profit and assets. IDS-ILO publiUniversity Press Oxford cation. See Randhawa. compared to about 20 per cent irrigated area for the More thain country as a whole. and the industrial elite which is powerful at the national level .) mant Rao found that for Punjab between the cothe correlation concentration of coefficient of operative credit in Punjab was one amonig the Indiain of the weakest state. Geneva (forthcoming). Ibid. "The Political Economy of Agrarian Change: An EsGreen say on the Revolution".63 kg. in addition. and is often eager to maintain close contact with the rich families. 1975. 1968 in of IR8 paddy (a study Karnal district. February. becomes almost an impossibility within 15 the existing socio-economic set up.] 1 Biplab Dasgupta. Report of the Agricultural Prices Commission on Price Policy for Kharif Cereals for the 1971-72 season. at 82 per cent. Utta Pradesh. Secondly. (ed). 1977. In terms of annual per capita elecconsumption for irrigation. 2 William Paddock and Paul Paddock. A S Kahlon. Also thanks are due to Susan Simmonds who typed the manuscript of this paper. By 1963-64 all the villages of Punjab were covered by the co-operative societies. Mathew See K "India . the multinational firms have play. Randhawa. 1967. S L Bapna. who is usually a matriculate and 11 a member of a rich farmer family. We have already noted the control of the rich farmers over co-operatives. No less important is the role of the village level worker in this respect. and various types of farm machinery. pesticides. Delhi (1). Temple Smith. high yielding varieties programme in Saharanpur district. People Stay Poor: "Why Poor World Developin Urban Bias ment".21 Rather return for than undermining the existing rural in. I am particularly grateful to H Laxminarayan.Roshan Singh. I am grateAndrew ful to UNRISD. 1974. in most villages retail shops for fertiliser. although the adoption of the new technology has expanded the market for imported fertilisers. S M Hale. The radical land reform we so strongly argued about above. "Famine-1975". ed an active role in sponsoring the new technology with the blessings of the government. pesticides and farm machinery. The fertiliser use. 1968-69 at 29 kg per hectare in was much higher than the national average of 9. for an analysis of the correlation of class forces amongst contradictions and the them in the Indian society. WN. High yielding Varavarieties programme in nasi district. 'providing them with useful information and services in small favours'. "Agrarian 18 Change and the New Technology in India". Contradictions in the Green Revolution: the Case of Tamil Nadu". the increased concentration of surplus in the countryside in the hands of a small elite (a result of the growing inequality in the income distribution) also helps in expanding the market for constumer goods produced by the indigenous industrialists.) Biplab Dasgupta. 70 per cent of the net sown area of the state was irrigated. half the total irrigated area is servIbid. "Barriers to Free Choice in Development". and V Sanmugsundaram.86 kwh stood third to Tamil Nadu and Haryana. Annual Number February 1977 See ed by wells and tubewells. especially tractors and other farm machinery. Labour Use and Productivity in Indian Agriculture". Thirdly. UNRISD.hatever the influence of the industrial capital and the multinational firms on the formulation of the new agricultural strategy. S S Johl. through this new technology a new type 'of patron-client dependency relationship of the small farmers on the rich farmers has been created for the use of means of production which are owned by the latter. 12 stitutions by bringing about a radical 13 transformation in the agricultural scene. Boston. A study AERC. is surprisingly high. 9 More than half the holdings are bigger than 4 hectares. Bibliography (1) (2) AERC. 10 By the early seventies. AERC. the rural elite has emerged as an intermediary through whose hands the inputs supplied by the government are delivered to the village. Geneva. seed and other inputs are owned by the rich farmers. "Village Society and Labour Use".ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY price. See Abstract of Punjab". To the extent the new strategy makes demand for manufactured produucuts like fertiliser. Indonesia). UNRISD. (3) (4) . Sen. tricity Punjab with 10. M G Chosh. who undertook seven microlevel studies in different parts of the country under the auspices of the UNRISD Global 2 proiect. Macmillan.State and Society".it is also compatible with the interess of a large section of the international capital. Interpreting the rural situation this way leaves very little scope for economic arguments. Whereas there were no tubewells in Punjab in 1950. Gurbachan Singh. compared to a national average of Hanu67 per cent. 5 Vyas. "Mechanisation. Haryana). this is accomplished without upsetting the existing correlation of forces in the countryside. and by 1965-66 all the cultivator households were covered. particularly the multinational fLrms wsNhich specialise in produsing petrochemicals and farm machinery. Orient Longmans.the rural elite which is powerful at the local level. proof higzh yielding varieties 259 7 Randhawa. (mimeoed draft) 1973. 1975: Michael Liplon. Whereas it was a difficult political task 14 to antagonise the rural elite before. and many others in UNRISD who encouraged me to undertake this study and provided the necessary financial and secretarial support. and provides encouragement to the establishment of workshops and distribution networks. between 196869 and 1971-72 the number of T)rivate tubewells increased from 112. The new technology has not only brought about a convergence of interests of these two power groups . there is no doubt that its adoption has strengthened the position of the ruling elite in the countryside. Hanumant Rao. Pearse. 1967-68. "Agrarian Change and the New Technology in India". 1974. and consequently the economic power of this group. Randhawa. Furthermore. 280 to 232. and about 10 per cent are bigzer than 12 hectares. See Randhawa. 280. Wolf Scott. Jabalpur (1).

pipelineprojects. India". AERC. 1968-69". "A Study of High Yielding Varieties Programme in the District of Birbhum. gramme Maharashtra). coke oven batteries.aryana: A Study of the Impact of the Green Revolution". '24) Sen. Vallabh Vidyanagar". Viswabharati. 1968-69. Delhi. Waltair (2). Waltair (1).Delhi AERC. East and West Godavari. Frankel. AERC. A numberof projectsare underimplementation in East European. ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY '22) Rao. 1968-69". Rabi 1968-69 (wheat). M S.furnaces. Evaluation of Rao. AERC. 1971. Bhalla. Gulf.100 mitlion. 196768". AERC. Gujarat. S. West Bengal. Jabalpur (2). Programme in Dohad Taluka (Panebmahal). 1967. CIMMYT. (5) (6) (26) (7) (8) (9) For Indust ri Plants and Structures (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) Parthasarathy. Madras (2). An evaluation of the high yielding varieties programme in West Go. "An Varieties ProHigh . (25) 1974. study of. Muranjan. A study of high yielding varieties rrogramme in the district of Cuttack. EPIis the only contractingcompany in IndiawithJ requisiteexpertiseto implementon a turnkeybasis a wide range of engineeringand industrial projects such as housing complexes. Juglekar. Delhi. "Changing Structure of Agriculture in H. Poona. "A Study of the Hybrid Baira Programme in the Kaira district. 1975. Orissa.Total business on hand over Rs.chemical plants and water treatmentand sewage disposal plants. A report on high yielding varieties programme in paddy in Sibsagar district. 1967 68". A study of high yielding varieties programme.. Poona. 1967.Annual Number February 1977 gramme. Andhra Pradesh. Paddy. Ghosh. Mexico. (Kharif baira in Nasik. Francine R. in Raipur district. Research study No 18. Jorhat. G S. 1972. Vyas. "I'm . "Green Revolution". B M. M G. Kharif (paddy). (1). Delhi. Randhawa. A study of high yielding varieties programme in Thanjavur district. G. Vallabh Vidyanagar. "Changes in Rice Farming and their Economic and Social Impact: Case Study of a Delta Village. Summer. with Special Reference to Kharif Paddy. "A Study of the High Yielding Varieties Pro(Bhandara District. Chandigarh. AERC. "Economic Aspects of High Yielding Varieties Programme in Punjab" (A study of 1R8 paddy in Amritsar district). P V G K.sugar plants. A study of high yielding varieties programme. "Economics of High Yielding Wheat in Punreference to jab" (special Arnitsar district. 1968-69). "India's Green Revolution . Meoxican wheat in Amritsar district). AERC. N R.material handlingprojects.Yielding 1967-68" (A gramme. Shah. P V G K. Madras. M V. PtHINHt4t"CQPROCNTS(INOJA) L1& I of India (AGovt. (mixneo). 1968-69. Tikamgarh district. with special reference to credit. Phase 1. C H. 4. 1968-69. AERC. AERC. Princeton. Bandhudas. Rabi. A study of high yielding varieties programme. Kharif. Rabi. Punjab University. West and South EastAsian Countries. davari district (IR8-Rabi-196768).. Enterprite) Kailash. Research study No 12. 1967. Kharif 1968-69.Kasturba G_ib mM ug NlowDeIha-1110681. "Technolegical Change and the Distribution of Gains in Indian Agriculture".Economic Gains and Political Costs". 1974. "Progress and Performance of HYV Wheat Programme in India (1966-67 to 1971-72)". '23) Rao. A P. 1973. Kharif. "An Evaluation of Some Aspects of Hybrid Maize. Rabi. V S. Rabi. "A Study of the High Yielding Varieties Programme in Maharashtra. Hanumantha Rao. "The Green Revolution in India". 196869. (mimeo). 1973. 1968-69. AERC. Preliminary report. and Rabi jowar in Poona). AERC. Desai. AERC.