ri   lt re and ood      ana ement       8.15
     maize-gram, sugarcane-wheat, soybean-wheat,          food, which may lead the nation to attain food
     sorghum-sorghum, groundnut-wheat, sorghum-           security. By the late 1980s, India was able to
     groundnut, groundnut-rice, sorghum-wheat,            manage self-sufficiency in foodgrains. We see the
     sorghum-gram, pigeonpea-sorghum, groundnut,          emergence of big farmers in the GR regions for
     sorghum-rice, groundnut-sorghum and soybean-         whom at least farming did not remain subsistence
     gram.                                                —commercial dimension enters the Indian farm
                                                          practices, for the first time.
     chAnges in the croPPing PAtterns                         This is the period when the traditional
     Due to various reasons, the cropping pattern of      cropping pattern of India got exposed to new
     Indian farmers have undergone changes over the       inputs of farming and geographical dimensions
     time—we can see them in following three phases.      of crop selection were undermined. Soon (by
          Pre-Green Revolution Period: In this phase we   1996–97), the government came to know that the
     see Indian farmers going in for a cropping system    GR farm practices were ecologically damaging and
     (generally), which was primarily decided by the      unsustainable. The Government of India officially
     socio-cultural and economic factors—more or less     adopts the idea of sustainable agriculture by 1997.
     they were closer to being sustainable as they had        Reform Period: Another wave of change in
     developed through the long process of trial and      the cropping pattern comes with the process of
     error of their forefathers. A combination of crops   economic reforms commencing in 1991, which
     we see being grown by farmers across the country     brings in new opportunities together with the
     with judicious mixture of crops till the Green       challenges in the area of farm sector:
     Revolution. This was a period of subsistence
                                                                   The issue of food security continued
     farming with high dependency of population
                                                                   to give pressure on policymakers as
     for livelihood on it. The nature of the cropping
     pattern was too stubborn to change by incentives.             foodgrains production was not able to
                                                                   keep pace with the population growth
          Green Revolution Period: Under the spell of the
                                                                   rate. The situation becomes even more
     New Agricultural Strategy (NAS), more popularly
                                                                   serious with Food Rights (NFSA) given to
     as the Green Revolution, since 1965 onwards, we
                                                                   a large population of the country recently.
     see a major shift in the cropping pattern of Indian
     farmers. The main forces of change were economic,             Globalisation       brought      in     new
     infrastructural and technological. Initiation of              opportunities of farm exports together
     high yeilding varieties of seeds, financial supports          with the challenge of cheap production
     of chemical and other inputs together with the                (need of farm mechanisation and
     provisions of minimum support price (MSP)                     commercial farming so that Indian farm
     gave major shift to the farmers’ choices of crops.            products can compete in the global market)
     In the GR regions we see a highly repetitive kind             in wake of the agricultural provisions of the
     of cropping pattern with the ‘wheat-rice’ having              World Trade Organisation. It made India
     predominance. In coming times, the Government                 think of mobilising huge investments in
     of India started announcing MSPs for many other               the sector. India accepts agriculture as
     crops, which had its own impact on the farmers’               an industry (2000) giving green signal to
     choices of crops in their cropping systems.                   corporate and contract farmings.
          This period was primarily guided by the                  Ecologically sustainable farming becomes
     singular objective of attaining self-sufficiency in           the need of the hour due to ensuing danger