Two recent stories on NPR point to the limitations of the 1st green revolution, listen to them or read their transcripts in the links below.
……The groundwater problem has touched off an economic chain reaction. As the
farmers dig deeper to find groundwater, they have to install ever more
powerful and more expensive pumps to send it gushing up to their fields.
Sandeep says his new pump costs more than $4,000. He and most other
farmers have to borrow that kind of cash, but they are already so deep in debt
that conventional banks often turn them away.
So Sandeep and his neighbors have turned to “unofficial” lenders — local
businessmen who charge at least double the banks’ interest rate. The district
agriculture director, Palwinder Singh, says farmers can end up paying a
whopping 24 percent.
India’s Farming ‘Revolution’ Heading For Collapse
…..Their comparatively small region, Punjab, grows far more wheat and rice for India than any other region. But now these farmers are running out of groundwater.
They have to buy three times as much fertilizer as they did 30 years ago to grow the same amount of crops. They blitz their crops with pesticides, but insects have become so resistant that they still often destroy large portions of crops.
The state’s agriculture “has become unsustainable and nonprofitable,” according to a recent report by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology.