Green Revolution with White Touch : Daily Current Affairs

GS-3: Economics of Animal-Rearing, Storage, Transport and Marketing of Agricultural Produce and Issues and Related Constraints.

Key phrases: White Revolution, Green Revolution

Why in news:

The importance of November 26:

  • November 26, 2021 was celebrated in Anand, Gujarat as the 100th birth anniversary of Verghese Kurien, the leader of India’s ‘white revolution.
  • November 26, 2021 also marked one year from the day when thousands of farmers, also the beneficiaries of the ‘green revolution’, began a non-violent protest to force the Indian government to withdraw the three farm laws.


Differences between the Green Revolution and White Revolution:

  • The purpose of the green revolution was to increase the output of agriculture to prevent shortages of food, whereas the purpose of the white revolution was to increase the incomes of small farmers in Gujarat, not the output of milk.
  • The green revolution was largely a technocratic enterprise driven by science and the principles of efficiency. Whereas, the white revolution was a socio-economic enterprise driven by political leaders and principles of equity.

What is White Revolution?

  • Operation Flood, launched on 13 January 1970, was the world's largest dairy development program and a landmark project of India's National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).
  • It transformed India from a milk-deficient nation into the world's largest milk producer.
  • It was launched to help farmers direct their own development and give them control of the resources they create.
  • Verghese Kurien, the "Father of the White Revolution" in India, whose "billion-litre idea", Operation Flood, made dairy farming India's largest self-sustaining industry.
  • More details covered in 27th Nov, 2021 news analysis

The success story of Amul:

  • Amul has become one of India’s most loved brands, and is respected internationally too for the quality of its products and the efficiency of its management.
  • It has successfully competed with the world’s largest corporations and their well-established brands.

What is Green Revolution?

  • Green Revolution, a period when Indian agriculture was converted into an industrial system.
  • Modern methods and technology — including high-yielding variety (HYV) seeds, tractors, irrigation facilities, pesticides and fertilisers— were adopted.
  • The Green Revolution was an endeavour initiated by Norman Borlaug in 1970. It led to him winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in developing HYVs of wheat and is often credited with having transformed India from “a begging bowl to a bread basket.
  • The green revolution’s aim was to increase outputs by applying scientific breakthroughs with methods of management to obtain economies through scale.
  • Mono-cropping on fields was necessary to apply all appropriate inputs — seeds, fertilizer, water, etc., on scale.
  • Focus on only one or two crops at a time enabled their outputs to be increased by avoiding diversion of land use to other “non-essential” crops.
  • Mono-cropping also increased the efficiency in application of inputs. Thus, farms became like large, dedicated engineering factories designed to produce large volumes efficiently.

Impact of Green Revolution:

  • Pests and Pesticide: There has been a significant increase in the usage of pesticides, and India became one of the largest producers of pesticides in the whole of Asia. This caused water pollution and soil degradation.
  • Water consumption: India has the highest demand for freshwater usage globally, and 91% of water is used in the agricultural sector now. Currently, many parts of India are experiencing water stress due to irrigated agriculture. The crops introduced during the green revolution were water-intensive crops.
  • Soil and crop productivity: There was a repetition of the crop cycle for increased crop production and reduced crop failure, which depleted the soil's nutrients. To meet the needs of new kinds of seeds, farmers used increasing fertilizers and the soil quality deteriorated.
  • Extinction of Indigenous Varieties of Crops: Due to the green revolution, India lost almost 1 lakh varieties of indigenous rice.
  • Food Consumption Pattern: Traditionally, Indians consumed a lot of millets, but this became mostly fodder after the green revolution.
  • Stubble burning in North India largely was responsible for air pollution.
  • Increased use of pesticides also had health impacts on farmers. Cancer cases have increased significantly in many regions of Punjab.
  • It was primarily the medium and large farmers who were able to benefit from the new technology.
  • The introduction of new technology seemed to be increasing inequalities in rural society.
  • The worsening of regional inequalities. The areas that underwent this technological transformation became more developed while other areas stagnated.

Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI)

  • Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI) was launched in 2010-11 to address the constraints limiting the productivity of “rice based cropping systems” in eastern India comprising seven States namely: Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Eastern Uttar Pradesh (Purvanchal) and West Bengal.


  • To increase production & productivity of rice and wheat by adopting latest crop production technologies;
  • To promote cultivation in rice fallow area to increase cropping intensity and income of the farmers;
  • To create water harvesting structures and efficient utilization of water potential; and
  • To promote post-harvest technology and marketing support.

The major interventions are as follows.

  • Block / cluster demonstration of improved production technology.
  • Asset building activities for farm improvement.
  • Site specific activities for farm renovation.
  • Seed production & distribution
  • Need based Inputs
  • Marketing support & post-harvest management and
  • Ecology specific rice based cropping

Way forward

  • Precision agriculture is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter and intra-field variability in crops.
  • Laser levelling is a technology that can grade an agricultural field to a flat surface by using a laser-guided scraper. It helps improve crop yields, reduce labour time spent on weeding, and, reduces water use for irrigation by up to 20-25 per cent.
  • Green Revolution 2.0 or second green revolution aims at making farming climate resilient, incorporating data-driven and technology enabled farming, thus making it sustainable in the long run.
  • Science must be practical and usable by the people on the ground rather than a science developed by experts to convince other experts. Moreover, people on the ground are often better scientists from whom scientists in universities can learn useful science.
  • Large-scale farming using modern scientific methods, the approach in the Soviet Union to improve agricultural outputs, as it is in the United States, to achieve spectacular results must be implemented in India too.

Source: The Hindu

Prelims question:

Q. With reference to Precision Agriculture, consider the following statements:

  1. Precision agriculture is a data-driven approach to farm management that can improve productivity and yields.
  2. Artificial intelligence (AI), due to its small scale adoption in developed countries, cannot be leveraged for Precision Agriculture.
  3. Commercial as well as horticultural crops also show a wider scope for Precision Agriculture in India.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d)