Agriculture Development-First Phase
The First Phase - Increasing Irrigation and Building Dams: Between 1950 and 1965 the Indian Government invested heavily on irrigation and power projects. Big dams for irrigation and electricity generation like Bhakra-Nangal (Punjab), Damodar Valley (West Bengal), Hirakund (Odisha), Nagarjun Sagar (Andhra Pradesh), Gandhi Sagar (Madhya Pradesh) were constructed.
The area under cultivation and the irrigated area both went up, and crop production increased. During this phase, government promoted the formation of farmer cooperatives and also appointed agricultural extension officers to provide technical support to farmers. A variety of initiatives especially for small farmers were taken at the mandal or block level through community development programmes.
Despite these developments food shortages continued. In 1962-65, India faced two wars and the government spent a lot of money on the war. Also 1965 and 1966 were met with little rain and were declared as drought years. This led to decline in the production of food grains and forced the government to import food grains. This situation of depending on other countries for food requirements worried the Indian leaders. The Indian Government began to change the policy towards agriculture and was called as Green Revolution.