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GREEN REVOLUTION FIRST

GREEN REVOLUTION, FIRST The fortunes of the agricultural sector changed in the late 1960s with a suddenness that surprised most observers This happened because of the advent of the “green revolution” The revolution arrived in the form of high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of wheat and rice in the late 1960s, which came from research farms in Mexico and the Philippines The HYVs spread very quickly in Punjab and Sindh; wheat more rapidly than rice In the four-year period between 1965-1966 and 1969-1970, the index of food-crop production increased from 107 to 177, a rise of 70 points In this short period wheat production increased by 86 percent (an extraordinary rate of 168 percent a year), from 39 million tons to 73 million tons Rice output increased by 54 percent (11



5 percent a year), from 13 million tons to 24 million tons There were two developments specific to Pakistan that explain the rapid spread of HYVs in the country First, unnoticed by the government but indirectly encouraged by it, Pakistani farmers invested largely in sinking tube-wells The government’s encouragement came in the form of the Salinity Control and Reclamation Projects (SCARPs), which it initiated in the late 1950s These projects demonstrated to the farmers the profitability of the conjunctive use of surface and ground water Once the farmers became aware of this, they moved fast to install wells of their own According to one estimate, farmers had installed about 25,000 wells in the irrigated districts of Punjab Second, the creation of the “Basic Democracies” system of local government by the administration of President Muhammad Ayub Khan in the early 1960s brought the middlescale farmers in close touch with the bureaucracy, particularly that part of it that had direct responsibility for promoting economic development With this easy access available to the functionaries of the government, the farming community was able to procure the public services it required for making a success of the HYVs

The transformation of agriculture, which had begun with the first green revolution, was interrupted during the period in which Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was prime minister and resumed again with the start of the second green revolution in the mid-1980s

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