The Passing of Bhaskar Save: What the ‘Green Revolution’ Did for India



The real story of the ‘Green Revolution’ in India

by Colin Todhunter
Masanobu Fukuoka, the legendary Japanese organic farmer once described Bhaskar Hiraji Save’s farm as “the best in the world, even better than my own!” In 2010, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements honoured Save with the ‘One World Award for Lifetime Achievement’. Based on the results and practices on his 14-acre farm in Gujarat, Save was an inspiration for generations of farmers. By using traditional methods, he demonstrated on his farm that yield is superior to any farm using chemicals in terms of overall quantity, nutritional quality, taste, biological diversity, ecological sustainability, water conservation, energy efficiency and economic profitability.

Bhaskar Save died on 24 October 2015 at age 93. Emphasising self-reliance at the farm/village level, Save was regarded as the ‘Gandhi of natural farming’. In 2006 he published an open letter to the Indian Minister of Agriculture, the Chair of the National Commission on Farmers and other top officials to bring attention to the mounting suicide rate and debt among farmers. He wanted to encourage policy makers to abandon their policies of importing and promoting the use of toxic chemical chemicals that the ‘green revolution’ had encouraged. He regarded the green revolution as having been a total disaster for India – socially, economically and ecologically.

Below is a slightly edited version of his open letter, which reveals in some detail where India has gone wrong. At the same time, however, Bhaskar Save was optimistic that a fundamental change in policy could turn things around. His views on farming are rooted in a vision that is diametrically opposed to the current policies of selling out farmers and agriculture – the heart and soul of India – to corrupt foreign agribusiness concerns.

Read the full article: The Thinking Tamil

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Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.