There has been a discussion about agricultural reforms for quite some time. People are arguing against the agricultural laws that the APMC Act in Bihar was abolished in 2006, in spite of which the conditions here remain miserable. This is a very absurd argument because Bihar’s agricultural growth rate has been around 8 percent in the last 15 years, which is much higher than the country’s average growth rate of 3 percent and it is four times higher than the Punjab’s two percent rate.
However, we should not only look at the figures of the last 15 years, but compare them all from 1970, when Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab all joined the Green Revolution. This comparison would be better because Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka had not joined it earlier. But today it is developing at a rapid pace in states like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar. Between 1964 and 1967, Chidambaram Subramaniam started the formulation of policies for agricultural development of the country as the country’s agriculture minister. Punjab was ruled from 1956 to 1964 by a visionary leader named Pratap Singh Kairon, who was instrumental in building the infrastructure in the state, including the Bhakra Nangal dam. Apart from this, the role of Kair was also important in the project of land consolidation in the state, due to which Punjab had a positive attitude towards the use of Green Revolution.
Apart from this, when Prakash Singh Badal’s government came to the state between 1964 and 1970, all the agriculture work was done under the Congress-led central government, because Punjab did not have any strong leader. In such a situation, the central government preferred Punjab for agricultural experiments, ignoring the most fertile land of the Gangetic plains (UP Bihar and Bengal). Asit Jolly, a journalist from India Today, has fully described the significant pace and investment of building Punjab’s infrastructure in a short span of time. He wrote in detail about the story behind the Green Revolution of Punjab, “Kcr established in 1962 proved to be important in adapting new wheat varieties to local conditions. It is also important to note that the agriculture of the state Marketing bodies, Punjab Mandi Board, Land Development and Repatriation Corporation and Punjab Agro
Industries Corporation was also established by 1965-66. “He wrote” In addition, the Central Agricultural Price Commission opened in 1965, and FCI (Food Corporation of India) in 1964 and wheat procurement began in the summer of 1965. .
In the last 5 decades, farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh have received billions of dollars from the central government as subsidies. The central government gives agricultural subsidies on input front (seed subsidy, fertilizer, concessional loan, power subsidy) as well as output front (MSP, investment in agricultural marketing). More importantly, most of these v go to Punjab and Haryana. Wheat (37 per cent) and rice (43 per cent) comprise the central government’s total 80 per cent procurement, and around 70 per cent of the total wheat and rice purchases are made only from Punjab and Haryana as these states have a sophisticated APMC network.
Punjab and Haryana started growing paddy, knowing that this crop is more favorable to eastern India (it requires a lot of water). The direct reason for this was that the Central and State Governments were giving many types of subsidies. Farmers exploited ground water because electricity was also getting free from the governments. At the same time, farmers were also subsidized in the purchase of seeds. Fertilizers were purchased by farmers to grow crops as they were heavily subsidized.
After this whole game, the rice produced by the Central Government in these states was agreed to be purchased at a discounted price. Therefore, the paddy that should have been produced in eastern UP, Bihar and West Bengal was being produced in Punjab. In this, subsidies and food policies of the central government became a profitable deal for the farmers of Punjab Haryana.