Green Revolution: Other side: Truth of Punjab

The lush fields hide a scary tale. Farmers live in a disturbing cesspool of toxicity, a result of excessive and unregulated use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. For one, Punjab farmers' use of pesticides is 923 g/ha, way above the national average of 570 g/ha (grams per hectare).

Malwa is also Punjab's cotton belt; cotton crops are prone to pests. Farmers here use at least 15 different pesticide sprays. Of the top 15 pesticides used, the US's Environmental Protection Agency considers seven used on cotton in the US as 'possible', 'likely', 'probable,' or 'known' human carcinogens (acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, tribufos, and trifluralin).

Worse, "farmers use the empty pesticide cans to store water and food," says Dr Jaura. Fertilizer use is also sky high: at 380 kg/ha (kilo per hectare), it is the highest in India, almost three times the national average of 131 kg/ ha, as per the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research.


Farmers believe they may be paying a price for the success of the 1970s' Green Revolution. That was when farmers in Punjab switched from traditional farming methods to a combo formula of high yieldseeds-fertilizer-pesticide-water. The small but wealthy state on an average now accounts for 19% of wheat and 13% of India's rice production. The Green Revolution, and Punjab's contribution, ensured that from begging for food and aid, India went on to export food grains. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- कोई भी मूल्य एवं संस्कृति तब तक जीवित नहीं रह सकती जब तक वह आचरण में नहीं है.

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