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    16th Dec, 2020


  • The farmer protests have led to questions being raised on the extensive cultivation of paddy and wheat, especially in Punjab.

What is the extent of paddy-wheat monoculture in Punjab?

  • Punjab’s gross cropped area in 2018-19 was estimated at 78.30 lakh hectares, out of which around 86% is cropped with paddy and wheat only.
  • The Green Revolution wheat varieties such as KalyanSona and Sonalika have been grown extensively.

Green Revolution

  • The Green Revolution, or the Third Agricultural Revolution, is the set of research technology transfer initiatives occurring between 1950 and the late 1960s.
  • The initiatives resulted in the adoption of new technologies, including High-Yielding Varieties (HYVs) of cereals, especially dwarf wheat and rice.
  • It was associated with chemical fertilizers, agrochemicals, and controlled water-supply and newer methods of cultivation, including mechanization.
  • Norman Borlaug, the "Father of the Green Revolution", received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. 
  • MankombuSambasivanSwaminathan (M S Swaminathan) has been called the "Father of Green Revolution in India".

What is monoculture and how it has caused such a problem?

  • The growing of a single crop in a particular area is known as monoculture.
  • In Punjab, Wheat replaced chana, masur, mustard and sunflower, while cotton, maize, groundnut and sugarcane area got diverted to paddy.
  • It has caused a lost to crop diversification.
  • Growing the same crops year after year on the same land increases vulnerability to pest and disease attacks.
  • The more the crop and genetic diversity, the more difficult it is for insects and pathogens to device way to pierce through plant resistance.
  • Wheat and paddy cannot also, unlike pulses and legumes, fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.
  • Their continuous cultivation leads to depletion of soil nutrients and growing dependence on chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

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