ri    lt re and ood           ana ement       8.5
           The idea of the Green Revolution at the end        increase in the purchasing capacity of the masses
     of this phase at least gave India the confidence of      to make food affordable for them. India badly
     realising the objective. At the end of the 1980s,        failed in it. The crisis was managed by throwing
     India was a self-sufficient country with regard to       higher and higher subsidies ultimately affecting
     food.                                                    government expenditure on the infrastructural
                                                              shortcomings in the agriculture sector. Even after
     the seconD PhAse                                         providing higher food subsidies, some people
                                                              failed to purchase food and they were left with no
     Meanwhile India was celebrating its success of
                                                              option but to die of hunger.
     the first phase, a new challenge confronted the
                                                                   India is still in this phase and trying to solve the
     country—achieving economic access to food.
                                                              crisis through twin approach, firstly, by creating
     The situation went on worsening and by early
                                                              maximum number of gainful employment, and
     2000 there was a paradoxical situation in the
                                                              secondly, by cutting cost of foodgrains (via the
     country when it was having more than three               second green revolution based on biotechnology).
     times buffer stocks of foodgrains in the central
                                                                   It must be kept in mind that the food self-
     pool, but in several states people were dying
                                                              sufficiency happiness was a temporary thing for
     due to lack of food—a complete mockery of the            India. By the mid 1990s, India realised that its
     logic behind maintaining buffer stock, success of        foodgrain production was lagging behind its
     green revolution and the concept of India being          population increase. It means India is still fighting to
     a welfare state.12 The Supreme Court intervened          achieve physical reach to the required level of food.
     after a PIL was filed by the People’s Union for
     Civil Liberties (PUCL) and a national level Food         the thirD PhAse
     for Work Programme came up (to be merged                 By the end of the 1980s, world experts started
     with the National Rural Employment Guarantee             questioning the very way world was carrying on
     Scheme). The courts took the governments on task         with different modes of production. Agricultural
     if foodgrains rot either in godowns or destroyed in      activity was one among them which had become
     oceans to manage market price for the foodgrains,        hugely based on industries (chemical fertilizers,
     or if the Centre had to go for exporting wheat           pesticides, tractors, etc.). All developed economies
     at very low price. In this process India emerged         had declared their agriculture to be an industry.13
     as the seventh largest exporter of wheat (2002).              It was time to look back and introspect. By
     Basically, we were exporting the share of wheat          the early 1990s, several countries started going
     which was not consumed by many Indians due to            for ecologically friendly methods and techniques
     lack of economic reach to food.                          of industrial, agricultural and services sectors
           As the inputs of the Green Revolution were         development. The much-hyped Green Revolution
                                                              was declared ecologically untenable and the world
     costlier, its output naturally were to be costlier.
     To fight the situation there should have been a          headed for organic farming, green farming, etc.
     time-bound and target-oriented macro-economic                 It meant that achieving physical and economic
     policy support, which could deliver comparative          reach to food was not the only challenge India was
                                                              facing, but such aims should not be realised at the
        12.  Publication Division, India 2000 (New DelhI:
             Government of India, 2001); Ministry of Finance,   13.    Brundtland Report on Sustainable Development after
             Economic Survey 2000–01, (New DelhI: Government           the deliberations at the summit “Our Common future”,
             of India, 2001).                                          1987.