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THE GREEN REVOLUTION OF INDIA

THE GREEN REVOLUTION OF INDIA


In recent years India is experiencing a rapid economic growth, especially after the 1990s when India started to liberalize its economy in a full scale. However, the author emphasizes the critical importance of the preceded 1980s when Indian agricultural sector registered a high growth rate. The Green Revolution in India started in the late 1960s and with its success India attained food self-sufficiency within a decade. However, this first „wave‟ of the Green Revolution was largely confined in wheat crop and in northern India such as Punjab, resulting in a limited contribution to overall economic development of the country. On the contrary, the agricultural growth in the 1980s (the second „wave‟ of the Green Revolution) involved almost all the crops including rice and covered the whole country, it enabled to raise rural income and alleviate rural poverty substantially. Such a rise of rural India as a „market‟ for non-agricultural products and services was an important pre-requisite for the rapid economic growth based on non-agricultural sectors‟ development in India after the 1990s. The 1980s was a critical decade for South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to make a great divergence in the economic development thereafter. The implication for Sub-Saharan Africa is that raising income in rural areas through productivity growth of the agricultural sector, especially the staple food sector, is essential for the success of modern economic growth through industrialization.As one of the so-called BRICs, India is experiencing a rapid economic development and growth in recent years, 
especially after the 1990s when India started to liberalize its economy in a full scale. With no doubt, a series of economic liberalization policies implemented after 1991 in India largely contributed to the accelerated growth in the country until the present day. However, this paper will focus more on the role of the Indian agricultural sector in its history of overall economic development process. To mention at first the major conclusion of the paper, we consider that agricultural growth should be preceded the modern economic growth which is based on industrialization. As described later in detail, we emphasize the existence of domestic market for non-agricultural products and services as an important pre-requisite for the success of industrialization. By agricultural development through productivity growth such as the Green Revolution, rural income can be raised and rural poverty be alleviated. Therefore the Green Revolution can contribute to the overall economic development through creating a market in rural areas for non-agricultural products and services.
In the case of India, the Green Revolution at first started in the late 1960s. With the success of it, India attained food self-sufficiency within a decade by the end of the 1970s (the first „wave‟ of the Green Revolution).
However, because it confined only to wheat crop and in northern India such as Punjab, it failed to raise income in the vast rural areas of the country. The second „wave‟ of the Green Revolution, however, reached India finally in the 1980s. Since it involved almost all the crops including rice (which is a very important staple food in eastern and southern India) and it covered  the whole country, it was able to contribute to raise rural income and alleviate rural poverty in the whole country. Thus the second Green Revolution in the 1980s was essential for the history of Indian economic development.This paper composes as followings. In the section I, we will reflect the process of the agricultural development in India after its independence in 1947. In particular, the process of the first and the second waves of the Green Revolution and their impacts will be delineated in detail. In the section II, the role of the Green Revolution in India on its history of economic development will be presented. In the section III, the implications of the Indian experience for the contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa will be discussed, taking into consideration the similarities and differences between the two regions. Finally, we will summarize the argument and conclude.Before focusing on the agricultural sector development in India, let us first look at briefly the overall economic development process of the country since independence in 1947 until the present day. Figure 1 illustrates the economic growth rates (three-year moving averages) of India in order to eliminate year to year fluctuations. It is found from the figure that India suffered a relatively low economic growth rates around 3.5 percent per annum until the late 1970s, with a large fluctuations due to the influence of the agricultural sector growth which largely depended on the monsoon situation. Indian economy then experienced some improvement in the 1980s because of the government‟s liberalization policies (but not in a full-scale) under the Rajiv Gandhi regime and a relatively high growth rate attained by the agricultural sector in the decade. And finally, after the full-scale economic liberalization in 1991 the economic growth rates in India accelerated to a very high level (usually more than 6 percent, and recently. It is notable at the same time that the agricultural sector growth started to clearly lag behind the GDP growth since the 1990s, which indicates that the Indian economy was plunged into a new developmental stage after the 1990s  where widening disparity between agricultural and non-agricultural (or between rural and urban) sectors is one of the major problems for the economy. Now let us look into the agricultural sector development in India by dividing the whole period from the independence to the present time into several periods.even more than 8 percent after the mid-2000s).
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THE GREEN REVOLUTION  OF INDIA
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