How did the Green Revolution in India help the peasants?
The deadly dark side of the Green Revolution
The rich biodiversity of traditional indigenous foods in India is in danger of being lost. However, there is little reliable data available and little research has been done on it. The farmers in the Ganges plain were mainly dedicated to the cultivation of regional cereals, their diversity has also decreased. Loss of diversity means that shocks such as the spread of pests are seriously damaging to agriculture.
The Ganges plain is the most important agricultural region in India, on which food security largely depends. The huge catchment area of the Ganges extends from the Himalayas in the northwest to the East Indian lowlands on the Indian Ocean. It is so fertile because the current transports sediments and soil from the mountains to the plains. Most of the wheat and rice consumed in India has been grown here for centuries.
At Ekta Parishad, a major social movement advocating for the rights of marginalized communities, we conducted a study in the state of Chhattisgarh in south-central India that looked at traditional food production and the impairments that indigenous people experience in a particular one Chhattishgarhs region is affected. The result shocked us. In the past, more than twelve types of ancient grain and oilseeds were grown there, as well as more than seventeen types of fruit and vegetables.
Over the years, the majority of it has disappeared, on the one hand due to external factors such as climate change, but on the other hand due to the lack of any supportive policy for this traditional food production. People have lost their diverse food supplies, and they have become susceptible to new diseases because they are not used to the new rice and wheat.
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