Ever since Pakistan achieved independence, she has been striving hard to become self-sufficient in matters of food. She has learned lessons from her unhappy past when she was visited by famines more often than not. The food position was precarious. She produced just enough for her home requirements and some. times had to depend upon other countries. Even after the achievement of independence, she imported quite a large amount of foodgrains to meet her requirements. So after independence, our national leaders mobilized all their resources to promote the cause of agriculture and thereby the larger cause of the welfare of the people. Our efforts did bear some fruit and we have reached in the vicinity of the solution of the food problem and the Green Revolution of the agricultural revolution is around the corner.
As a matter of facPakistancannot afford to ignore such a vital sector of her economy as agriculture. Agriculture is the staple profession of the country. About two-thirds of the population is engaged in agriculture. It provides raw material to a number of industries, which in turn provide employment to a wide mass of people. Naturally in the absence of adequate agricultural production, all our efforts to bring Indian economy to a developed stage and get it running. would have founded on the rock of failure. Bringing the agricultural of Green Revolution was indeed a far cry calling for urgent attention and strenuous efforts.
Our national Government has taken many steps to bring about Green Revolution. A sizable portion of the outlay in differ eat plans was devoted to the development of agriculture. Incentives have been given to farmers for mechanizing agriculture, They were helped to purchase scientific implements of agriculture at subsidized rates. The use of artificial chemical fertilizers has been and is being encouraged. A number of fertilizer plants have been set up in the public sector in different parts of the country. Agricultural Research Institutes have been set up in order to develop a high yielding variety of seeds. Loans are advanced to farmers at low rate of interest payable in easy installments. Besides, the State Governments have established Development Blocks io villages with a view to providing field guidance to the farmers. The government have paid serious attention to the development of irrigation facilities. Scores of river valley projects have already been completed and scores of them are underway. In order to provide further incentive, farmers are assured of a fair return for their produce by fixing purchase prices Expert guidance in agriculture has been secured from foreign countries under F.A O. programmes. These measures taken by the government have cut much ice in bringing about the Green Revolution.
The breakthrough in the production has been facilitated by improved seeds as well as by hybrid seeds. Much scientific research has gone into the making of better seeds. Availability of high yielding varieties of seeds’ alone is not the spectrum of the green revolution. The supporting factors of this revolution have increased the availability of fertilizers, increased irrigation facilities and effective price support given by the government.
The greatest advantage of the green revolution is our self-sufficiency in foodgrains. Our foodgrains production, which was only about 50 million tonnes in 1950 51, is now over 120 million tonnes. This has ended the import of foodgrains under PL 480, which earlier bad caused a number of irritants in the political and diplomatic field, problems in internal money field and loss of face.
Despite all sincere efforts on the part of Government, serious analogs have been noticed in what we have achieved. In the first place, the benefits of the Green Revolution have largely reached the well to do or big farmers. The small farmers are still roaming in utter indigence. This has resulted in the division of agriculture class into two groups–the rich and the poor. Further, cash crop has largely been neglected with detriment to the cause of industries based on them. Apart from this prosperity resulting from our achievements in the agricultural field has not been evenly distributed throughout the country. Steep variations in local prosperity are a threat to the unity of the country.
These snags are to be analyzed and cured in order to enable the fruits every member of the national society to benefit from of Green Revolution. Our policies should carry a socialistic bias. Also measures have to be taken to continue and step up the tempo of growth by tackling the problem of floods, droughts and other national calamities. This is the prime need of the hour, “as the only alternative to Green Revolution is Red Revolution:”