Agriculture experts and members of civil societies from across the country are discussing in Bihar capital Patna the new Green Revolution being undertaken in seven Indian eastern states. The brainstorming session on the topic “Green Revolution: Eastern India On Disastrous Punjab Path?” is being organized by ASHA or the Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture, a national network of more than 400 Indian organisations.
The organisers say their programme is enlightening the participating farmers, activists and officials from several states who are presenting their case studies. Sounds good… as I am given to understand that ASHA has been working on seed self-reliance for farmers. I hope it will thus showcase its expertise for the benefit of farmers of the target states i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Orissa and Chattisgarh. The new Green Revolution is going on in these eastern states under a new initiative started by the Indian Government.
Hope you too could contribute to the debate and processes around this Green Revolution to ensure that seed and food sovereignty as well as security are enhanced, even as livelihoods of farmers in the target states are improved. According to ASHA Convener Kavitha Kuruganti, the full aftermath of the Green Revolution is slowly appearing in places like Punjab as stories and studies appear regularly on the environmental, economic and environmental health disaster that is unfolding there.
“To this day, no formal processes or reviews have been undertaken by the Government of India on the (first) Green Revolution and lessons to be learnt for future policies related to agriculture in India. However, the State of the Environment Report of the Ministry of Environment & Forests points out that the degradation/erosion of many productive resources is related to intensive agriculture models of the kind that Green Revolution promoted,” she says.
Last year, ASHA had organised the ‘Kisan Swaraj Yatra’, a pan-Indian outreach and mobilization effort to draw fresh attention of the nation to the continuing agrarian crisis in India. Yessss! It is thus certainly imperative to look at the proposals, plans and implementation of the new “Green Revolution in Eastern India”. More so when people are talking about private-sector-led, hybrid-seed-centric, high-external-input Green Revolution model in Eastern India. It is our responsibility to ensure that the adverse consequences of the earlier Green Revolution don’t visit upon us again.
And for this, adequate emphasis must be paid to sustainability issues, particularly with respect to livelihoods and environmental resources, in addition to seed sovereignty issues. And we should not forget that some of the most marginalized and poor communities of India still live in these target states and any additional risks that confront them because of policy-initiated shifts in their livelihoods will further impoverish them.
A Related Link: Green Revolution In Bihar Is Different From Punjab: Govt