This paper examines village level experiences of “Green Revolution,” in four areas, one each in northern and southern India and two in northern Nigeria. It argues that these have consisted not merely of the introduction of new high-yielding varieties but of a broad set of mutually reinforcing changes which have transformed agricultural practice in the areas in which they took place. The changes have typically involved a suite of new technological components (including several new crops, fertilizers, and new power sources, among others), altered land use patterns, and changes in the labor economy. These have facilitated both intensification and extensification of agriculture (except in south India, where intensification predominated), resulting in substantial increases in regional output and income. Market production rather than population pressure has driven the changes in all of these cases, and it is questionable that population growth alone could lead to transformations of this kind. The cases also demonstrate that adoption of plows and fertilizers can occur at relatively low population densities in Africa, provided other conditions are favorable. In Africa, India, and elsewhere such changes have been geographically uneven, occurring dramatically in some areas but affecting others only marginally. Such geographic disparities call for attempts to mitigate the regional inequities and stresses to which they give rise.
World Development – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 1995
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