In a country where over 60% of the population is engaged in agriculture, one expects enough food production to feed the entire population. However, in India, 194.6 million people are undernourished, the highest in the world (Source).
Agricultural productivity has raised concerns about food security and nutrition, major challenges in India. This crisis has built a strong case for a ?Second Green Revolution? in India.
Worldwide, food security is a universal challenge and we also want to double the global food production by 2050 when world population is estimated to increase from 7.3 billion to 9.7 billion (Source) In India, this challenge increases as per hectare yield of wheat is stagnating at about 2,830 kg (Source) According to Food and Agricultural organization, India ranks lower than even other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nation in terms of productivity.
India had witnessed the golden era of 1960-70, which saw incredible record yields through innovation and technology. No doubt, India?s Green Revolution had played a significant role in improving agricultural productivity and crop yield. It resulted in improved high yielding varieties of rice and wheat, better irrigation and water- management facilities. But, since then things have stagnated, with new technology taking much time to be adopted
Climate change, scarcity of natural resources, declining water tables and shortage of agricultural land have instigated the need for a follow up green revolution, which will help us meet our agricultural goals. The agricultural landscape has changed drastically since this intervention, that a second Green Revolution is going to need an entirely new approach, and an entirely new set of technologies.
This revolution would assist India in developing better irrigation system, elimination of crop wastage, increasing crop yield, improving food supply etc. Indian agriculture cannot be taken to the next stage of development without adopting multiple new and innovative technologies at a large scale. For second green revolution, genetic engineering of new crops and foods will take the lead in providing food sufficiency across the world. Second green revolution will have a much wider sweep than the first one and for that we need entirely new approach and technologies such as biotechnology and high-quality seeds. Also, Precision Agriculture can be the new approach on the way of second green revolution in India, which has the goal of optimizing returns on inputs while preserving scarce resources. Many technologies have been developed to apply precision agriculture practices; High precision positioning systems (like GPS), Automated steering systems, Geo mapping , Sensors and remote sensing, Integrated electronic communications and Variable rate technology (VRT) just to name a few.
How Biotechnology can initiate the second green revolution?
With increasing population and slow rate of agricultural growth, situation is getting alarming. Biotechnology is the most significant method of boosting productivity as well as farmers? income. Biotechnology has proved to be the best way to increase crop yield, pest resistance, herbicide tolerance etc. to name a few benefits. According to reports, biotechnology has the potential to increase crop yield by around 22% (Source). Biotechnology has the potential to lead the way for second green revolution in India. The need is to embrace the new technologies and innovations whole-heartedly.
It is also encouraging to know that some researchers and scientists such as Prof. Deepak Pental (NDTV), Dr. Julian Adams (Professor at University of Michigan- Article)also stressed on embracing science to improve the state of Indian agriculture sector.
Though the challenges of bringing second Green Revolution in India are immense, but it is not impossible. India has witnessed the green revolution before as well and has seen phenomenal results. We have got innovative technologies as well as resources; we just need to use them efficiently to succeed. With second Green Revolution, India may turn to be a leading producer of food grains pretty soon.