India's high yielding varieties programme in wheat 1966-67 to 1971-72

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India's high yielding varieties programme in wheat 1966-67 to 1971-72
Vyas, V. S
Place of Publication:
Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo
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vii, 35 p. : ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Wheat -- India ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Economic aspects -- India ( lcsh )
Wheat ( jstor )
Farmers ( jstor )
Fertilizers ( jstor )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 34-35).
Statement of Responsibility:
V.S. Vyas.

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1966-67 TO 1971-72

V.S. Vyas

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Apdo. Postal 6-641, Mexico 6, D.F. Mexico

Correct citation: Vyas, V.S. 1975. India's high yielding
varieties programme in wheat, 1966-67 to 1971-72. Centro
International de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo. Mexico
City. viii + 35 p.

Foreword v
Preface vii

I. Genesis and progress of the high-yielding varieties programme in wheat 1
Introduction 1
Wheat revolution in India 1
Development strategies in the first three plans 1
The overall impact 3
Progress in the pre-HYV period 3
High-yielding varieties programme 4
Spread of high-yielding varieties 5
Planning and coordination of HYV programme in Punjab 7

II. Economic performance of high-yielding varieties in wheat 10
Economic superiority of high-yielding varieties 10
Economic use of inputs 11
Range of variations in income from HYV 14
Beneficiaries of high-yielding varieties programme 16
Factors determining high incomes from high-yielding varieties 21
Conclusions 29

II. Guidelines for future action 30

Appendix 32
Bibliography 34


Launching the Studies

The study described in the following chapters is one of
a series aimed at enlarging understanding of the factors
impinging on the adoption of new maize and wheat
technology. Better understanding of the elements shaping
the diffusion of new cereals technology can help govern-
ments and development assistance agencies to increase
farmer income, hence the interest in the topic. Interest
increased as controversy about effects of introducing new
technologies attracted widespread attention to the theme.
CIMMYT, with its mandate defining its role in the
development and diffusion of maize and wheat technology,
quickly assumed a participant's role in the discussions. The
concern and the interest emanating from the critical im-
portance of the theme stimulated CIMMYT to look for a
modus operandi through which patterns of adoption and
the forces shaping those patterns could be identified.
Better understanding of these relationships would influence
CIMMYT efforts to develop new technology, the orientation
of its training program, and the approach taken in counsel-
ing governments about national programs.
In order to better comprehend what influences farmer
response to new technology, CIMMYT set out to facilitate
the research on which this and the other studies of the
series are based. We decided to examine eight cases in
which maize or wheat technology had been introduced to
farmers. In identifying programs for study, we limited
consideration to those in which the technology had been
available to farmers for no less than five years and in
which no less than 100,000 hectares of land might have
been affected. Eight programs were selected for study. For
maize the focus was on Colombia, El Salvador, Kenya west
of Rift Valley, and Mexico's Plan Puebla. For wheat,
programs in India, Iran, Tunisia and Turkey were consider-
ed. CIMMYT's maize and wheat staff participated in the
selection of these programs. With their knowledge of
programs around the world it was possible to choose a
varied set of experiences-e.g. programs with and without
irrigation, with and without effective price guarantees,
with massive extension effort and with virtually none.

To the extent possible, each of the adoption studies was
under the supervision of an indigenous economist. In only
one case was it necessary to turn to an expatriate and
there we had the good fortune to collaborate with a re-
searcher with several years experience in the area. Each
of the collaborators shared CIMMYT's concern for farmer
response to new technology.
Beyond sharing this concern, each collaborator had an
interest in farm level research done in close cooperation
with agricultural scientists. The importance of this interest
emerges from our conviction that agricultural scientists who
are knowledgeable about a particular maize or wheat area
can contribute substantively to research on the cereals
economy of that area. Their special knowledge about the
interaction between plants and their environments is im-
portant in identifying agro-climatic zones, critical periods
for the crop, and activities which are essential to effective
cultivation. Many agricultural scientists played a prominent
role in these studies; each warrants our gratitude for his
As the studies were completed it became apparent that
much could be said for publishing them in a standard
format. With several serving as Ph.D. dissertations and
others as less formal research pieces, a common format
could only be achieved through reworking the original
monographs. In every case but one, then, CIMMYT's
publication is an abridgement of a longer piece. The
Indian study, itself a review of the findings of several other
research efforts, is being published in its entirely with no
effort to recast it in the form of the others.
In making the abridgement we have followed certain
norms. Mathematical proofs have been eliminated, litera-
ture reviews have been included only where they relate to
points which are unique to a given study, and the discussion
of the hypotheses motivating the studies have been dropped.
This last decision arises from recognition of the substantial
commonality of these hypotheses among the studies. This
suggested that, rather than presenting essentially the same
discussion in the text of each abridgement, the hypotheses
could be treated once in an abbreviated form for all studies.
That treatment follows below.

The Hypotheses

While each of the studies examines a somewhat different
set of circumstances all depart from the same general
assumption about farmer behavior. The assumption is
that farmers are income-seeking risk averters who are
sensitive to the nuances of the environment in which they
farm and that they are generally effective in their decision
making. For the six studies based on original survey data
and to a more limited extent for the study of Plan Puebla,
this common point of departure leads to a great deal of
similarity in the motivating hypotheses.
Given a farmer oriented by the assumptions described
above, we might expect to see relationship between the
adoption of elements of the new technology and: 1) char-
acteristics of the farmer-his age, education, family size,
farming experience, off-farm work, percentage of land own-
ed; 2) characteristics of the farm-its agro-climatic region,
competition of industrial crops, relative importance of
cereals, nearness to markets, farm size; 3) characteristics of
government programs-access to credit, access to informa-
tion (through extension agent visits or visits to demonstra-
tion plots).
Some of the relationships between these variables and
the adoption of elements of the new technology are more
arguable, some less. Least arguable are hypotheses relating
adoption to education, farming experiences, percentage of
land owned, more favored climatic regions, relative import-
ance of cereals, nearness to markets, farm size, access to
credit, and access to information. With other things equal
and accepting our assumptions that farmers are income-
seeking, risk-averting, sensitive, and effective maximizers,
wually no one would argue that any one of these relation-
snips should be negative.
Somewhat more arguable is the relation of age and family
size to adoption. Even here it is likely that only a few
would argue that these relationships might be positive.
Most arguable are the relationships linking adoption to
off-farm work and competition of industrial crops. With
respect to the former, some hold that the relationship is
positive as more off-farm work implies more income, there-
fore a greater capacity to bear risk, hence a greater willing-
ness to adopt new technologies. Others hold the converse,
arguing that more off-farm work implies less interest in the
farm, hence less willingness to put in the time and energy
associated with taking on new technologies. So too for
industrial commodities, where those who see the relation-
ship as positive allude to greater experience with improved
inputs and larger incomes while the contrary view rests on
capital restrictions and the high opportunity cost of labor.

With knowledge of the relationships among these variables,
researchers and policy makers can better develop and
diffuse new technologies. Some of the variables considered,
e.g. age and family size, are beyond the control of these
decision makers. Nonetheless, by incorporating them in the
analysis the effects of variables subject to their control are
more clearly discerned. Knowledge of how these variables,
e.g. agro-climatic zones and extension programs, relate to
adoption can be of critical importance in affecting the
development and diffusion of new technology.
With this rough sketch of the general argument, readers
wanting more detail about the derivation of the hypothe-
sized relationships can turn to the relevant original piece
from which this series of abridgements was drawn. In
all cases the studies feature the effects of agro-climatic
region and farm size on adoption of elements of new
technology. This emphasis is related to the earlier contro-
versy about the effects of new technology where these two
factors played prominent roles.
Before moving into the abridgement, some attention to
the phrase "elements of the new technology" is warranted.
Much has been made of the concept of a package of practi-
ces in the introduction of new technology. We've chosen
to look at this a bit differently, taking the view that the
differences in risk, expected income, and cost of each
element of the technology are large enough to outweigh
the effects of the interaction among these elements. That
is to say, perceptive and prudent decision makers might
well choose to take up only a part of the package rather
than the entire package. For the programs studies, the
two dominant elements in the package are improved seed
and fertilizer. These two were analyzed as dependent var-
iables for each of the studies. Of lesser importance are
such elements as seed treatment, date of planting, method
of planting, use of herbicides, use of pesticides, planting
density, and seed bed preparation. Nevertheless, where
one of these was recommended and where data are adequate,
these are also treated as dependent variables.

What follows

The following is a review and summary of data and
literature related to the adoption of new wheat technology
in India. Initiated in 1973 the study was finished in
1974. Unlike the remaining publications in this series,
it appears unabridged, as it was written.

Donald Winkelmann
El Batan


A vast literature, most of which is of high analytical
quality, has come into existence on the "second generation"
problems of the High Yielding Varieties (HYV) Programme.
The problems of employment and income distribution, in
particular, have received careful attention. In comparison
the problems connected with the introduction of the new
programme and prospect of its further spread have received
scant attention, particularly by the economists. These
are no less important aspects. Therefore, when Dr.
Winkelmann of the CIMMYT wrote to me asking whether
I would undertake a survey of the discussion on these
aspects of the HYV programme in India, I readily agreed.
This document is the outcome. At this stage I have done
nothing more than piecing together the findings of various
researchers on the pace and prospects of expansion of the
HYV programme in wheat in the first quinquannium or so
of its introduction.
This study was undertaken when I was working as
Member, Agricultural Prices Commission. I am thankful
to Dr. Dharm Narayan, Chairman, Agricultural Prices
Commission for giving me permission to undertake this
work, and more so for the discussions I had with him on
this and related topics. I have benefited from his insights
in India's agricultural problems. I have also received

valuable comments from several friends. wish to record
in particular my thanks to Dr. D.S. Tyagi of the Agricultural
Prices Commission and Shri M.D. Desai and Shri S.L.
Bapna of the Agro-Economic Research Centre, Vallabh
Vidyanagar, Mr. R.R. Umesh acted as my research assistant
for this project. Shri S. Banahopadhaya and Shri G.A.
Pillai assisted me at the stage of revision of my draft. All
these were of considerable help. I have received very useful
comments from Dr. Winkelmann, and through him from
Dr. Glenn Anderson of CIMMYT.
The first six years of the HYV programme for wheat
(1966-67 to 1971-72) were unique in several respects. For
the first time, a concerted effort was made to raise the
production of an important cereal in a measurable way.
The lessons drawn from this experience has relevance for
this country as well as other developing countries which are
seeking to raise the level of agricultural production with the
large scale introduction of the High Yielding Varieties

Vijay Shankar Vyas
Indian Institute of Management



The remarkable increase in wheat production in India
since mid-sixties merits a close look. An explanation of
the phenomenon of major breakthrough in wheat produc-
tion, which sharply contrasts with relative stagnation in
production of other cereals, is likely to provide valuable
lessons for future agricultural development. In this report
an attempt has been made to underline the factors which
have made this breakthrough possible and highlight the
problems and issues which are yet to be tackled.
The report is divided in three parts. Part one briefly
traces the history of efforts to increase agricultural pro-
duction in India during the first three plan periods (1951-
65), suggests reasons for the acceptance (in mid-sixties) of
the strategy of agricultural development revolving round
high-yielding varieties of seeds and describes the administra-
tive and other measures to facilitate geographical spread of
the new varieties. Part two, which is the core of the
report, discusses the factors responsible for the rapid
spread of the new varieties as well as their actual performan-
ce with the help of a set of micro level studies. Part three
highlights some of the unresolved problems and the
prospects for the future growth. The implication of this
"wheat revolution" in terms of income distribution and
employment generation have not been discussed in this
review. This is mainly because the latter issues, often
described as "second generation problems", have been
widely commented upon.' On the other hand, the first
generation problems, i.e., problems connected with the
extension of new varieties and measures to exploit their
potentialities to the maximum, have not been subjected to
detailed scrutiny and examination.

Wheat Revolution in India

Judged by any standard, India's performance in wheat
production during recent years, particularly since 1966-
67,2 when high-yielding varieties (HYV) were introduced
for the first time for commercial production, has been
remarkable. 3 In the course of six years (from 1966-67
to 1971-72) wheat production has increased from 11.4
million tonnes to 26.4 million tonnes, or has more than
doubled. No other major wheat producing country in the
world has surpassed this rate of increase in the production
of the cereals. 4 (See Table 1.1). This has enabled India to
increase its share in the world's wheat production from less
than 4 percent in 1965-66 to nearly 8 per cent in 1971-72.
Increase in wheat production provides a sharp contrast
to the performance of other major cereals during this
period. Thus, as against the annual growth rate of 14.27

percent per annum in wheat production, from 1964-65 to
1971-72 5, the rate of growth in rice production, during
the same period, was 3.63 per cent and that in the total
cereals was 5.46 per cent (see table 1.2). This has resulted
in growing dependence of the nation on wheat for its food
supplies. Wheat constituted about 16 per cent of cereals
produced in 1964-65; its share increased to 28.3 per cent
in 1971-72. In terms of marketable surplus6 and in
terms of its share in the total procurement for public
distribution7 its significance is all the more greater. The
phenomenal increase in wheat production has also meant
progressively less dependence on the imports of cereals for
managing the country's food economy. The imports of
cereals which has reached an all time high figure of 10.4
million tonnes in 1966, came down to 2.1 million tonnes in
1971. Therefore, an understanding of the factors which
have influenced the rate of growth in wheat output are of
vital importance to this country's food economy.
The lessons that one would be able to draw from India's
performance in the initial phasing of the HYV programme in
wheat will be more than of local importance. With stagna-
tion in the supplies of rice and millet in recent years, the
dependence of the world economics, particularly of the
food-deficit countries, on wheat is progressively increasing.
In the short run, at least, there is no escape from increasing
the supplies of wheat, whenever it is possible. This makes
India's experience in this regard all the more relevant.

Development Strategies in the First Three Plans

Year 1966-67 marks a water-shed in the agricultural
planning in India. This was the year when a large scale
release of new varieties of wheat ushered in an era of New
Technology in Indian agriculture.8 However, the planners in
this country were not writing on a clean slate. From the
beginning of the planning era (in 1951), and in fact even
earlier than that, one can identify certain common elements
in the strategy of agricultural development. Principal among
these are (a) extension of irrigation, (b) popularisation of
plant nutrients, particularly inorganic fertilisers, (c) research
on different varieties and crops, (d) introduction of land
reforms, and (e) provision of institutional support to
agriculture, especially in the fields of credit and market-
ing. Over the period of time and in different areas these
programmes have worked with varying degree of success.
Experience has shown that even with the traditional
varieties, irrigation provides a sizeable increase in yields.
Indian planners attribute 20 to 30 per cent increase in
yield in different cereals in response to irrigation [32]
The emphasis on irrigation in India's planning is evident from

Table 1.1. Compound growth rate of wheat production in
selected countries of the world.

Compound growth rate (percentage)
For 1961-62 to For 1964-65 to
Countries 1971-72 1971-72
India 8.78 14.27
Pakistan 6.56 8.62
Argentina -1.69 -0.61
Canada 0.39 -6.18
Australia 0.31 -3.24
U.S.A. 4.44 2.14
France 3.53 3.19
U.S.S.R. 4.10 3.28
Mexico 3.49 2.26
China 4.90 3.33
World 3.74 3.05

Source: Data used from Production Yearbook 1964 and 1969,
FAO, Rome, for the years between 1961 and 1968. For later
years Fertilizer Statistics 1972-73 and 1973-74, Fertilizer Asso-
ciation of India, New Delhi.

Table 1.2. Compound growth rates of area, production
and yield of the cereals.

Crop Period Area Production Yield
Rice 1949-50 to 1971-72 1.15 2.88 1.71
1964-65 to 1971-72 1.00 3.53 2.91
Wheat 1949-50 to 1971-72 2.65 5.40 2.72
1964-65 to 1971-72 6.36 14.27 7.32
Jowar 1949-50 to 1971-72 0.54 1.48 0.93
1964-65 to 1971-72 -0.59 -1.32 -0.75
Bajra 1949-50 to 1971-72 1.04 3.14 2.03
1964-65 to 1971-72 0.42 6.34 5.88
Maize 1949-50 to 1971-72 2.81 3.74 0.91
1964-65 to 1971-72 3.50 3.85 0.35
Total 1949-50 to 1971-72 1.15 3.08 1.81
Cereals 1964-65 to 1971-72 1.43 5.46 4.62

Source 1. For the period from 1949-50 to 1971-72 growth rates
are taken from draft fifth five year plan Vol. II, Government of
India, Planning Commission. 2. For the period from 1964-65 to
1971-72, growth rates are calculated by fitting the equation
S= e a +bt when y denotes production and tb time. Thus the grow-
th rates "r" are calculated by r = eb 1. Data used from Estimates
of Area and production of principal crops in India 1972-73, Director-
ate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of In-
dia, 1974.

Table 1.3. Import as percentage of foodgrains production
in successive plan periods. ('000 tonnes)

Production of Imports
Foodgrains (Average Imports as
(Average for for Five % of Pro-
five years) years) duction
First Plan
(1951-56) 63,181 2,464 3.90
Second Plan
(1956-61) 73,999 3,464 4.68
Third Plan
(1961-66 ) 81,040 5,084 6.27

Source: Various issues of Food Statistics, published by the
Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Ministry of Food and
Agriculture, Government of India.

the amount allocated for the development of water re-
sources in different plans; the expenditure on irrigation
(including flood control) was Rs 4340 million during the
first plan, Rs 4300 million during the second plan and
Rs 6640 million during the third plan. It accounted for 22.0,
9.0 and 8.0 per cent of the total plan outlay in the first,
second and third Five-Year Plans respectively. Over and
above the extension of irrigation through public invest-
ment, private effort in this direction have also been
considerable. All these efforts are reflected in the ex-
pansion of area under irrigation over the period 1951 to
1965. The net irrigated area increased from approximately
21 million hectares to nearly 27 million hectares during
this period.
The expansion in the fertilizer use in India has been
even more remarkable. The per hectare use of N and P
which was respectively 0.42 kg. and 0.03 kg. in 1952-53
increased to 3.53 kg. of N and 0.85 kg of P. The use of K
which was virtually non-existent in the earlier years,
amounted to 0.50 kg. per hectare in 1965-66. In other
words, application of N rose by more than eight times and
that of P by twenty-eight times. It must be noted, though,
that even while the consumption of N and P increased
dramatically it was still well below the recommended
Apart from strengthening the input base of agriculture,
a series of land reform legislation have been enacted in the
country since Independence with the objective of ensuring
social justice and providing incentives to the actual tillers
of the soil. While the focus of these reforms in the first few
years was on the abolition of funrtionless intermediaries,
e.g. Zamindars and Jagirdars, the later period legislation
were aimed at regularising, and subsequently eliminating
tenancy in land. During the 1960's, a number of laws
were enacted to impose and ceiling on land which a
cultivator could own or operate. These laws were imple-
mented with varying degrees of effectiveness. Their total
outcome probably falls short of the expectations, yet in
several parts of the country they helped in achieving the
convergence of ownership and operation of land and
probably eradicated some of the more exploitative arrange-
ments in the cultivation of land [48j.
The most important institutional support provided to
the agriculturists since 1952-53 was a net-work of the
National Extension Service (NES) and the Community
Development (DC) Blocks. These agencies covered practical-
ly the whole country by 1960-61. The major objective of
the NES and CD schemes was to raise the level of rural life
through community efforts. On the production side the
movement strove to make farmers aware of new opportuni-
ties in the field of scientific agriculture and also to arrange
for supply of modern inputs and supporting services. The
NES established a creditable record in the extension of
fertilizer use and improved seeds in the country-side. [34]
Among the other notable institutional support, mention
may be made of the extension of institutionalized credit,
regulated marketing and the expansion of the cooperative

sector in the processing of agriculture produce.
While these are the continuing aspects of production
policy, a marked change was introduced in the early
sixties (in 1961) by the initiation of Intensive Agricultural
District Programme (IADP). Under this programme inten-
sive efforts were made under the direction of the Union
Ministry of Food and Agriculture to introduce a package of
improved practices in areas of assured rainfall and irriga-
tion. 1261 Some of these areas were in the vanguard of the
high-yielding varieties programme, when it was introduced
in 1966-67.

The Overall Impact

In spite of a generally favourable impact of these measu-
res, the desired results could not be obtained mainly due to
their faulty implementation as well as certain gaps in the
policies. The major gaps in the field of policy till mid-
sixties were an absence of a coherent price policy as well as
a research and development policy. The price policy was
based mostly on the immediate considerations and was
expressed in terms of ad-hoc measures for regulation and
fixation of prices. The research policy lacked a focus and
failed to create an integrated research system which is to
necessary for a country of the size and diversities of India.
Other not-so-desirable features on the policy plane were
lack of clarity in defining actual goals, in waivering between
the extensive or the intensive approach to the develop-
mental tasks and, pre-occupation with some less important
issues, e.g., the controversy on the unit of the cooperative
organization for supply of inputs and credit. Thus, the
efforts though massive, and mostly in right directions,
lacked sharp focus and in the absence of a set of consistent
policy instruments devised to achieve the given objectives,
were not as effective as they could have been. [14j

Progress in the Pre-HYV Period

In spite of several handicaps, impact of these measures
on raising the level of agricultural production was not
inconsiderable. In fact, from 1952-53 to 1964-65, the
annual compound rate of growth in agricultural production
was 3.01 per cent, that in the cereals was 2.74 per cent
and among the major cereals the growth in rice production
was 3.18 per cent, in wheat 3.30 per cent and in jowar 1.96
per cent. It was mainly because of the rapid increase in the
demand for foodgrains that the increased production was
found inadequate and imports of foodgrains started mount-
ing up, setting at naught one of the principal goals of
agricultural policy, i.e., meeting country's requirement
of foodgrains from domestic production.
Attainment of self-sufficiency in foodgrains has been one
of the major goals of India's agricultural policy since inde-
pendence.9 This was because given a normal crop the
deficit to be covered by the country even in the earlier

period was marginal. [47] With the low foodgrains yields
then obtaining it was always thought possible to cover the
gap between availability and requirement by raising the
yield levels. The foreign exchange constraint on the
economy ruled out the possibility of making available
adequate quantities of foodgrains by imports. In succes-
sive plans-in fact, even before the planning started, in
1949, when "Grow-More-Food" campaign was launched--the
goal of self-sufficiency in food was mentioned as one of the
important goals of India's developmental efforts. How-
ever, with a rapidly increasing population, growing at the
rate of 2.2 to 2.4 per cent per annum and a high income
elasticity of demand for food (0.5 to 0.6), attempts to
bridge the gap between the requirement and availability of
foodgrains were not successful. If the imports of foodgrains
is taken as an indicator of the short-fall in the availability
from the domestic sources, the performance till the end of
the Third-Five-Year Plan (65-66) was in no way reassuring
(see Table 1.3).
Along with the need for raising the levels of agricultural
production the other essential requirement was to minimize
year to year fluctuations in agricultural production. Due
to the continental size and climate of the country, and
dependence of large parts on the natural rainfall for supply
of water for cultivation purposes, production of crops
fluctuates year to year, mainly due to the vagaries of the
monsoon. Provision of irrigation had dampened such
fluctuations to an extent. However, the year to year
variations in output of different crops, as reflected by the
coefficient of variation, showed that the problem was
quite serious (See Table 1.4).
The weakness of the agricultural production base be-
came glaring during the drought years of 1965-66 and
1966-67. Production of major cereals in one single year,
1965-66, dropped by 18.9 per cent, i.e., from 76,939
thousand tonnes (in 1964-65) to 62,403 thousand tonnes.
In its coverage and intensity this drought was one of the
most serious ones in the recent history. But it also created
a sense of urgency in improving the production performance
of Indian agriculture.

Table 1.4. Co-efficient of variation (in percentage )in
the output of major crops, from 1951-52 to 1964-65.

Co-efficient of variation
Before eliminating After elimina-
Year the trend ting the trend

Rice 15.75 6.07
Jowar 12.99 9.67
Bajra 15.54 13.02
Wheat 17.70 8.93
Pulses 10.35 9.73
Cotton 10.97 9.86
Sugarcane 22.43 10.17

Based on Indices of Production-Revised Series, published by the
Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Food and
Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi.

High-Yielding Varieties Programme

The new strategy of agricultural development adopted
since 1966-67 revolves round the high-yielding varieties of
seeds. The Indian plant breeders were working for more
than a decade to evolve suitable wheat varieties which would
be both high-yielding and rust resistent. In 1962 while
cooperating with International Spring Wheat Nursery, Dr.
M.S. Swaminathan and Dr. M.V. Rao observed the high
yielding potential of certain mexican wheat varieties entered
in the International Spring Wheat Rust Nursery at New
Delhi. Further consultations with Dr. Norman Borlaug
confirmed that these lines can be the "possible tools for
breaking the yield barrier."
With the assistance of the Rockefeller Foundation, a
large number of semi-finished lines and four recently releas-
ed Mexican varieties (Lerma Rojo 64, Sonora 64, Sonora
63, and Mayo 54) were introduced into India. These
dwarf Mexican varieties in addition to their high yield
potential were photoinsensitive, had synchronized tiller-
ing, early maturity (as compared with deshi varieties) and
made better use of solar radiation (greater gain per day)
than the existing desi types. Fortunately the wide adapta-
tion of these varieties made their large scale introduction
possible without a substantial timelag for adapting them to
Indian conditions.
On the research side, coordination of research involving
the "organized cooperation" of all centres dealing in wheat
research had begun in 1961. In 1964 at the annual meeting
of the All India Coordinated Wheat Improvement Pro-
gramme, the testing programme was reorganized and pre-
liminary agronomic trials in addition to widespread yield
trials were placed throughout the five wheat regions of
India. The results of these trials, encouraged the govern-
ment of India to import 250 tons of Sonora 64 and
Lerma Rojo 64 in 1965. In the following season wide-
spread agronomic trials were conducted which led to the
development of a sound package of practices for growing
the new varieties. It was found that among the four
Mexican varieties, Lerma Rojo 64 showed the widest
adaptability and a further import of approximately 18,000
tons of seed was made in the summer of 1966. This
together with the increase made from the previously
imported material provided seed for some 292,000 hecta-
res in the very first year of launching of the programme.
There are some distinctive features of these varieties
which made their acceptance at a rapid rate possible. The
foremost aming these being high profitability due to high
yields which, in turn, were due to remarkable response to
the modern inputs, like fertilizers. First in the experimental
trials and later in the farmers' fields, it was shown that per
hectare yield from the new varieties was substantially higher
than that in the case of old varieties. The improved tall
varieties such as C-306, produced maximum yields of
about 3500 kgs. per hectare, but beyond that point they
showed no further increase in yield with higher rates of
fertilization, mainly because of lodging. Sonora-64 and

Lerma Rojo-64, on the other hand, showed progressively
higher yields with increasing rates of fertilizer application
upto 160 kgs. of nitrogen per hectare with the compli-
ment of other production factors such as adequate irriga-
tion and improved cultural practices. [4j
Under favourable conditions the new varieties made it
possible to increase yields by two and a half times that
obtained with the best local varieties. The dwarfness
of the size made this possible as they could absorb more
nutrients without lodging. This characteristic also made
them more resistant to some of the natural calamities,
such as strong winds.
Secondly, the plants were also found to be more rust
and other pest resistent compared to the traditional
varieties. The new varieties had greater resistance to all the
three common forms of rusts, i.e., stem rust, leaf rust and
stripe or yellow rust. Thirdly, the maturity period of
these varieties being shorter, they enabled a more flexible
cropping pattern than was the case with the original
varieties. Double or multiple cropping with early maturing
spring wheat was now within the realm of possibility.
Finally, as the new strategy was a seed based strategy it was
assumed to be size-neutral and, therefore, in a country
where small farms dominate it was considered eminently
suitable for large scale application.
It was also to the advantage of the country that a
major breakthrough in agricultural production was heralded
by wheat. The wheat belt is more or less a continuous area
with a large degree of ecological and agro-climatic uniform-
ity, unlike rice or millet zones which are interspersed all
over the country. This made the adaptive research in
wheat relatively simpler. The wheat growing areas are also
comparatively more developed in terms of infra-structure,
particularly irrigation, and are economically more advanced
than the rice or the millet growing tracts. In most of the
areas wheat, even though it is a principal crop, is preceded
by a Kharif (autumn) crop, which makes it possible for the
growers to depend on funds obtained from sale of the
first crop. This enhances their capacity to innovate and to
take risk.
On other considerations also, such as assured market,
favourable prices, absence of serious pests and possibility of
decentralised water management, wheat can be considered a
"low-risk" crop. This is in contrast to rice and milled
which are all "high-risk" crops since they are exposed to
many serious pest problems, marketing difficulties due to
marked consumer preferences, and to either shortage or
excess of water, depending on the behaviour of monsoon.10
The research efforts in adapting new varieties to Indian
conditions were well planned and proved every effective.
Following Borlaug's strategy in Mexico, the seed was
multiplied simultaneously in different locations, in large
number of plots and in conditions approximating to actual
farm conditions. In 1965-66, a National Demonstration
Programme was launched. Under this programme research
personnel at various stations were asked to go out to the

farmers' fields and arrange demonstrations of the new
varieties with the recommended practices. Thus, scientists
came in close contact with the farmers and gained better
understanding of their problems. They (the scientists)
proved to the extension personnel, as much as to the
cultivators, the value of the new technology. The program-
me was continued in the following year. In the subsequent
year the extension services took over the programme.
The substantial import of seeds, in the initial years,
once thair suitabilty to Indian Environment was proved,
saved the time wh ch would have been otherwise spent in
seed multiplication for commercial application. This stra-
tegy enabled sowing of the new varieties on more than
292,000 hectares ir the very first year of their release.
Research scientists in India constantly worked to adapt
the new varieties by exploiting their high yield character-
istics, their rust resistant qualities and their suitability for
diverse ecological environments. These varieties were
subjected to exhaustive physiological, pathological, chemical
and agronomic tests. The new agronomic practices to
achieve maximum results were standardized. The scientists
were also alive to the problem of evolving varieties suitable
to Indian conditions. In addition to Lerma Rojo and
Sonora-64 two purely Mexican varieties, four selections
from these varieties, viz., Kalyansona, Sonalika, Safed
Lerma and Chhoti Lerma were approved by the Central
Variety Release Comittee in 1965-66.
The specific problems which these varieties were likely
to face in India were promptly looked into. The most
important among these being the consumer resistance to
small grain and red colour of the "Mexican" wheat as shown
by the price differential between Mexican and deshi varieties.
To meet consumer preference Indian breeders at the
Indian Agricultural Research Institute (I.A.R.I.) developed
"Sharbati Sonora" by irradiating the original Mexican
"Sonora-64" with Gamma rays. The resultant mutant was
bold and amber in colour, and was acceptable to the
consumers. [18] Currently, experiments are being carried
out to evolve protein-rich varieties to meet the severe
protein deficiency in the country. A high tradition of
research in wheat breeding and a far-sighted scientific
leadership provided the necessary technical base for exploit-
ing inherent qualities of new varieties to the nation's
It was not only the inherent superiority of the dwarf
Mexican varieties and far-sighted research and develop-
ment policy pursued by the scientists in charge of wheat
programmes, but also the ancillary measures taken by
the Government which made it possible to extend these
varieties over large areas in a relatively short-time. For the
first time, there was a complete rapport between the
policy makers, the scientists and the extension staff as for
as the propagation of these varieties is concerned. The
Government also created a complex of institutions to
popularise the high-yielding varieties of wheat. Such
institutionall support included (a) provision of seeds through
the National Seeds Corporation, (b) strengthening of credit

base by activising country's extensive cooperative structure,
(c) development of orderly marketing through the Food
Corporation in India, (d) improvement of technical base by
organising nearly thirty-five Coordinated Research Program-
me in different commodities, and (e) establishment and
strengthening of agricultural universities in different States.
A favourable climate for adoption of the new technology
was provided by declaring minimum support as well as
procurement prices on the recommendations of the newly
established Agricultural Prices Commission. In order to
make the price policy effective the Food Corporation of
India was set up in the public sector with the objective of
attaining "commanding heights" in foodgrains trade. Con-
current evaluation and feed-back was attempted by involv-
ing the Programme Evaluation Organization of the Planning
Commission and the Agro-Economic Research Centres of
the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the task of
economic appraisal of the programme. The HYV program-
me, thus, received unparalleled institutional support from
its very start.

Spread of High-Yielding Varieties

Because of all the favourable features narrated above,
by 1971-72, i.e., within six years of the launching of the
high-yielding varieties programme, nearly 7.5 million
hectares were brought under these varieties. This account-
ed for 39 per cent of the total area under wheat in that
year. The contribution of the HYV programme during
this period can be gauged by the fact that if the earlier
(pre-HYV period) trend in wheat production would have
continued, the total production of wheat in 1971-72 would
have amounted to nearly 16.1 million tonnes. The actual
production in that year was 26.4 million tonnes. This
difference of nearly 10.3 million tonnes suggests a rough
measure of the success of the programme during the first
six ears of its operation.
Among the major wheat growing States in the country,
Bihar, the Punjab and Haryana had already brought more
than 60 per cent of the wheat area undar new varieties by
1971-72, while Rajasthan, with 34.1 per cent of the wheat
area under HYV, and Uttar Pradesh with 36.4 per cent,
were near the national average during that year. The only
major wheat growing State trailing behind was Madhya
Pradesh, which had hardly 8 percent of the wheat area
under HYV. In another, rather minor, wheat growing
State, Gujarat, the HYV area was around 12 per cent of the
total wheat area. In both these areas a large proportion of
wheat was grown on drylands. On the other hand, in the
principally rice and millet growing States which among
themselves accounted for nearly 13.7 per cent of the total
area under wheat), the performance of HYV wheat was
quite satisfactory-with over 40 per cent of their wheat
area under high-yielding varieties. (See Tables 1.5, 1.6, and
1.7). Any year to year analysis of these figures cannot be
very exact because in the earlier period, i.e., till 1968-69,
improved local varieties were also included in the high-

01 Table 1.5. Area under high yielding varieties of wheat.

1966-67 1967-68 1968-69 1969-70 1970-71 1971-72
Area Area Area Area Area Area
Total under Percent- Total under Percent- Total under Percent- Total under Percent- Total under Percent- Total under Percent-
Area HYV age Area HYV age Area HYV age Area HYV age Area HYV age Area HYV age
State ('000 hectares) ('000 hectares) ('000 hectares) ('000 hectares) ('000 hectares) ('000 hectares)
Bihar 809 25 3.1 1,054 182 17.3 1,095 301 27.5 1,145 437 38.2 1,316 886 67.3 1,397 1,000 71.6
Gujarat 461 1 0.2 553 161 29.1 503 167 33.2 433 17* 3.9 577 101* 17.5 575 68 11.8
Haryana 738 13 0.9 846 101 11.9 895 259 23.9 1,017 440 43.3 1,129 630 55.8 1,172 740 63.1
Himachal Pradesh 269 1 0.4 311 11 3.5 313 23 73 330 61 18.5 302 109 36.1 410 125 30.5
Jammu & Kashmir 161 1 0.6 187 28 15.0 200 36 18.0 210 40 19.0 184 57 31.0 225 81 36.0
Madhya Pradesh 2,130 16 0.8 2,661 15 1.7 3,056 81 2.7 3,176 150 4.7 3,403 201 5.9 3,509 280 8.0
Maharashtra 876 43 4.9 891 14 1.6 873 63 7.2 865 152 17.6 882 211 23.9 1,009 263 26.1
Mysore 298 1 0.3 305 11 0.4 310 26 0.8 327 36 1.1 305 47 1.5 347 52 15.0
Punjab 1,615 59 3.7 1.804 639 35.4 2,066 1,012 48.5 2,162 1,418 65.6 2,299 1,499 65.2 2,320 1,620 69.8
Rajasthan 961 9 0.9 1,265 126 10.0 1,162 190 16.4 1,254 288 23.0 1,478 368 24.9 1,524 520 34.1
Uttar Pradesh 4,394 363 8.3 4,970 1,587 31.9 5,239 2,515 48.0 5,378 1,640* 30.5 5,907 1,938* 20.2 6,046 2,200 36.4
(200) (4.6) (888) (17.9) (1,357) (25.9)
West Bengal 55 8 14.5 79 28 35.4 150 62 54.7 240 174 72.5 360 500 400 80.0
All India 12,838 541 4.2 14,998 2,942 19.6 15,958 4,793 30.0 16,626 4,910 29.5 18,240 6,123 33.6 19,163 7,439 39.1

*Excluding local improved varieties. @(Anticipated coverage. Figures in the ( ) are based on estimates of area under HYV only i.e. excluding the area under local improved varieties.
Source: Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, Directorate of Extension, Ministry of Agriculture.

Table 1.6. Percentage share of total area, area under HYV, and production of wheat by different states.

1965-66 1966-67 1967-68 1968-69 1969-70 1970-71 1971-72
Area of Prod- Area of Prod- Area of Prod- Area of Prod- Area of Prod- Area of Prod- Area of Prod-
Area HYV auction Area HYV auction Area HYV auction Area HYV auction Area HYV auction Area HYV auction Area HYV auction


Bihar 5.4
Gujarat 4.1
Haryana 5.4
Madhya Pradesh 19.1
Punjab 12.3
Rajasthan 7.7
Uttar Pradesh 32.7
Others 13.3
Total (All-India) 100.0

- 4.6 6.3 4.6 3.2 7.0 6.2 5.5 6.9 6.3 6.8 6.9 8.9 6.0 7.2 14.5 5.3 7.3 13.4 9.4
- 5.6 3.6 0.2 4.0 3.7 5.6 4.2 3.2 3.5 3.3 2.6 0.3 2.9 3.2 1.6 3.9 3.0 0.9 3.4
- 8.7 5.7 2.4 9.3 5.6 3.4 8.9 5.6 5.4 8.2 6.1 9.0 10.6 6.2 10.3 9.8 6.1 9.9 9.0
- 12.8 16.6 2.9 9.0 17.7 1.5 11.4 19.2 1.7 10.8 19.1 3.0 11.0 18.6 3.3 10.9 18.3 3.7 11.6
18.4 12.6 10.9 21.9 12.1 21.7 20.3 13.1 21.1 24.2 13.0 28.9 24.0 12.6 24.5 21.6 21.1 21.6 21.1
- 7.6 7.5 1.7 7.7 8.4 4.3 8.0 7.3 3.9 6.3 7.5 5.9 6.3 6.1 6.0 8.2 8.0 6.9 7.2
- 36.0 34.2 67.1 37.1 33.2 53.9 35.3 32.7 52.5 32.6 32.4 33.4 31.4 32.4 31.6 32.3 31.5 29.4 28.5
- 6.3 13.5 10.2 7.8 12.3 3.4 6.4 12.0 5.6 7.8 12.4 10.6 7.8 11.7 8.2 8.0 13.7 14.2 9.8
- 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture.

Tabhl 1.7. Compound growth rates of wheat, 1964-65 to 1971-72.

Madhya Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
All India

Area Production Yield
1964-65 1971-72 1964-65 1971-72 1964-65 1971-72 Compound growth rate
('000 hectares) ('000 tonnes) (kg/hectare) Area Production Yield
636.3 1,397.4 417.8 2,493.7 636 1.785 12.63 28.88 '14.45
444.1 574.5 415.9 897.4 937 1,562 2.27 10.50 8.13
722.4 1,172.0 920.0 2,394.0 1,274 2,043 8.57 17.57 8.29
3,157.9 3,509.0 1,980.9 3,045.4 627 868 4.66 10.94 6.80
1,563.0 2,320.0 2,360.0 5,598.0 1,510 2,413 7.11 17.09 9.32
1,183.4 1.524.4 1,103.1 1,904.4 932 1,249 5.64 11.84 5.14
3,965.4 6,045.8 4,117.9 7,549.0 1,058 1,249 6.66 12.48 4.45
13,422.1 19,162.5 12,257.0 26,477.4 913 1,382 6.38 14.27 7.63

Source: Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture.

yielding varieties group. From 1969-70 onwards the
definition is more strict. This has particularly affected
the reported figures of two wheat growing States, Uttar
Pradesh and Gujarat. Similarly, there is some doubt on
the accuracy of the figures of Bihar.12
Mainly because of inclusion of the indigenous improved
varieties, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat were in forefront of
the HYV movement till 1969-70 in the sense that the
proportion of wheat area under the HYV in these States
was higher than the national average. The Punjab took the
lead in the second year of the programme, in 1967-68,
and had retained its leading position till 1971-72, although
in the last two years Bihar had reported slightly higher
proportion of area under the HYV than the Punjab.
Haryana, the other major wheat producing State, came in
the forefront in 1969-70, as it ranked third, after Bihar
and the Punjab, in terms of proportion of the area under
the HYV to total wheat area. It has retained the position
since then. An interesting feature observed in 1971-72
was the highly satisfactory performance of principally
non-wheat producing states, e.g. West Bengal.
The limited experience of six years has shown that the
principal wheat growing States of the Punjab, Haryana
and Uttar Pradesh contributed the most to the expansion
of the HYV areas in the first three years. The early pioneers
had two common characteristics, viz., there were major
wheat producing States, in terms of area under wheat; the
yield levels in these States were also already high, (See
Table 1.7). In the later part of the period under review the
eastern States like Bihar and West Bengal also joined the
rank of the HYV leaders. So far the Central and Western
parts-the latter after a short-lived spurt in HYV areas in
Gujarat, which could as well be due to a generous
definition of the HYV-have not shown much dynamism
in this regard. This fact underlines the contribution of
limited areas in raising total wheat production at a
significantly higher level.
A district-wise analysis of area under high-yielding
varieties of wheat further confirms the conclusions arrived
at on the basis of State-wise information. Thus, ranked on
the basis of area under high-yielding varieties of wheat in
1970-71, the latest year for which district-wise information
is available, the first 20 districts accounted for 44 per

cent of total area under the HYV in the country. These
districts accounted for 22.1 per cent of area under wheat in
the country in 1964-65; in 1970-71 their share was 24.8
per cent. Yield-wise, per hectare output in these districts
in 1964-65 was nearly one and a half times (144.5 per
cent) of the national average. In 1970-71 they slightly
improved their position in this regard. The fact that a
small but a dynamic core has supported the wheat
revolution in this country is borne out by these indica-
tors. However, a substantial number of these districts
(nine) had already reached, by 1970-71, the saturation level
of, say 60 per cent or more of wheat area under the
HYV; six of them had 50 to 60 per cent of wheat area
under the HYV. Only one of these 20 districts had less
than 35 per cent of wheat area under the new varieties.
Of these 20 districts, as many as nine were from the
Punjab. Of the remaining, seven were from Uttar Pradesh,
three from Haryana and one was from Bihar. Concentra-
tion of large number of districts in progressive and better
endowed areas was a result of deliberate policy. The
rapid expansion of area under HYV wheat in these
districts was equally an outcome of detailed and coordinat-
ed planning in which all agencies, the Central, the State
and the District were assigned clear roles. It was also
a part of the new strategy to take adequate steps for
improvement of input supplies, extension and marketing.
This can be well illustrated by the way in which the
HYVs were propagated in the Punjab.

Planning and Coordination of HYV Programme in Punjab'3

In late 1965, a conference on Intensive Agricultural
programme, called by the Union Government, recommended
the following norms for the selection of HYV areas: (1) The
selected areas should, as far as possible, be under the
IADP or IDA district blocks where necessary organisation
and facilities have already been built up. (2) The selected
blocks must have about 80 per cent of the cultivable area
under irrigation, of which substantial portion should be
under minor irrigation,-as the latter permits better control
over water supply. (3) Other than IADP/IAA, districts may
be selected provided they have substantial area under
irrigation and are important wheat growing tracts.

Soon thereafter chief ministers of the States met, in
April 1966, and took the following major decisions, (1)
Selection of districts, blocks and village where the HYV
programme will be launched during 1966-67 should be
immediately finalised. Within the villages the selection of
participants in the programme should also be completed
early. (2) A calendar of operations indicating a break-up
of important programmes into specific tasks and assign-
ments of specific responsibilities and a time table for the
programme of these tasks should be prepared for a state as
a whole and for individual districts under HYV programme.
(3) Every state government should work out credit require-
ments for implementing the HYV programme, village-wise
and cultivator-wise. (4) Proper arrangements should be
made for the distribution of major inputs like fertilizers,
pesticides etc. upto the village level. (5) The field extension
agency at district as well as block levels should be strengthe-
ned on a high priority basis. (6) Respective state govern-
ments should take immediate steps for producing the
bulk of foundation and certified seeds of HYVs of wheat
and paddy required by them. (7) The States should ensure
full coordination among the agriculture, community develop-
ment and cooperative departments for implementing the
HYV programme. (8) The participants in the HYV program-
me be invited to join demonstration-cumtraining camps.
The Chief Ministers also decided upon a target of
nearly 250,000 hectares to be brought under HYV wheat
programme in 1966-67. However, a review of the arrange-
ments made to popularise high yielding varieties in different
States by officials of the Government of India made them
bold to increase the target to nearly 500,000 hectares. In
order to fulfil this target, the estimated requirements of
inputs, particularly improved seeds, fertilisers and credit
were worked out and arrangements for their procurement
and distribution were finalised.
As regards HYV seeds, the National Seeds Corporation
of India made arrangements to procure seeds from two
principal sources. About 17.750 tonnes were to be import-
ed from Mexico, the rest were to be purchased from the
Registered Seed Growers among whom foundation seeds
were distributed in the previous year. Similarly, credit
requirements were calculated on the basis of a credit
limit of Rs. 150 per acre, as an indicative norm, and
arrangements were made through the cooperative structure
to provide credit to the HYV growers. The state govern-
ments were left free to revise these norms in the light of
their own needs.
A significant role was assigned to the cooperatives in
supply of inputs as well as credit. In order to streamline
the cooperative structure in the HYV areas, a meeting of
the Registrars of Cooperatives was called in April 1966
and all the necessary details were worked out.
Finally, when these decisions, taken at the Central level,
were transmitted to the Punjab Government, the Punjab
officials started translating these various requirements for
their own State. They, however, made a departure in the
sense that the target for the Punjab was fixed at nearly

104,000 hectares instead of 83,000 hectares suggested by
the Central Government. Input requirements were worked
out on the basis of the revised target. The input require-
ments were finalised after breaking up the targets among
different districts and then among different blocks in the
districts. Accordingly, agricultural department and the
cooperative department of the state government worked
out their requirement of seeds, fertilisers and credit. In the
case of credit, however, the requirements were calculated
at the rate of Rs. 300 per acre.
As the availability of inputs in the country was restricted,
two principal bottlenecks being the availability of seeds and
fertilisers, the state government was asked to lower their
sights. It was found that with the supplies allocated for the
Punjab by the Government of India, only 58 thousand
hectares could be covered under HYV wheat.
Once the position regarding input availability became
clear and the targets were suitably revised, the Director of
Agriculture of the State issued detailed instructions to all
District Agricultural Officers emphasising the following
points: (1) it was necessary to identify areas and cultiva-
tors who would take up the programme; (b) lists of such
farmers be prepared and submitted to Assistant Registrars
of Cooperative by September 1966; (c) the following criteria
be used for the selection of farmers; (i) availability of assured
irrigation, (ii) membership of cooperative credit societies,
(iii) capacity to invest in modern inputs and undertake
modern cultivation.
The Director also decided the districtwise acreage to be
brought under HYV wheat and these were indicated to the
respective District Officers by August 1966. By about the
same time, the Registrar of Cooperatives asked his district
level officers to take appropriate steps to ensure adequate
availability of inputs in the areas which were already
selected for introduction of the HYV programme.
At the field level, detailed arrangements were made to
supply seed, fertilisers and credit to the participant growers.
Quantities of required seeds were procured through the
National Seeds Corporation of India during September-
October 1966. It was distributed through the Department
of Agriculture. The Department appointed Agricultural
Inspectors at the Block level to transact the whole business.
The farmers were required to purchase the seeds from
Block level depots. For the fertilizers, the cooperatives
were the main supplying agencies. It was expected that the
village level cooperative societies will indent the require-
ments of their members by the middle of October. These
indents were to be consolidated by the District Cooperative
Warehousing Societies which were the agents of the State
Cooperative Marketing Federation. The State Cooperative
Marketing Federation then intimated the Secretary, Agri-
cultural Department requirements received from its various
constituents. The Secretary asked the concerned fertilizer
factory to send the supplies to the respective indentors, or to
the District Warehousing Societies, which then distributed
the fertilisers among the village cooperative societies on
the basis of the quantities originally indented.

The credit supplies were arranged through the District
Cooperative Banks. These were asked to ascertain from the
village cooperatives the number of participating farmers in
the HYV programme and to assess their credit requirements.
After consolidating their requirements, the District Cooper-
ative Banks applied to the Reserve Bank of India, through
the State Cooperative Bank, for an appropriate credit
limit. The Reserve Bank of India sanctioned a sum of Rs.
12,5 million for advances for wheat in Punjab in October
1966. The credit was distributed part in cash and part in
kind, e.g., in form of fertilisers, according to an agreed
The foregoing account indicates the type of planning
and coordination which preceded launching of the HYV
programme in one of the more successful States. Although
there were several snags in the actual implementation of this
programme, by and large, the work was conducted as
planned. A sound research base and the meticulously
planned ground work in the areas which were well
endowed, and among the farmers who had the necessary
wherewithals, gave spectacular results in the very beginning
of the programme and ensured its subsequent momentum.


1. For an excellent summary of the discussions, see Tom Byres,
Dialectics of Green Revolution, South Asia Review, Vol. 5, No. 2
January 1972.

2. The year referred to hereafter is the agricultural year, July-June.

3. A small quantity of seeds, some 250 tonnes, were brought into
India and distributed to selected growers in 1965. However, the
commercial production of new varieties started in 1966-67.

4. This also compa-es favourably with the rate of growth in
wheat production in Mexico, during the hey-days of wheat revolu-
tion in that country, see Borlaug, Wheat Breeding and Its Impact on
World Food Supply. Proceedings of 3rd International Wheat
Genetics Symposium, Camberra, 1968.

5. The rate of growth in production is calculated with 1964-65 as
the base, rather than 1966-67 when the HYV programme in wheat
was launched, because 1965-66 and 1966-67,were two drought
years and any comparison with 1965-66 or 1966-67 as the base
would exaggerate the rate of growth in production in the subsequent

6. Principally due to the concentration of this increase in already
surplus areas, e.g. the Punjab, Haryana and Western parts of Uttar
Pradesh, the marketable surplus as a proportion of increased
production is high, and progressively rising figure.

7. The government of India is pursuing policy of providing cheap
foodgrains to the weaker sections of society through a net-work of
"fair-price shops". The issue prices charged at these shops aie
lower than the prevailing market prices. These shops are supplied
foodgrains from the Central Stocks which are built partly by
imports, but in recent years progressively more by procurement of
foodgrains in domestic markets. The share of wheat in the total
domestic procurement was 57 per cent in 1971, its share in the
issues from the fair-price shops was also 57 percent in the .ame
year. (See, Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Ministry of
Food and Agriculture, Food Statistics, New Delhi, 1972).

8. The main elements of the new strategy of agricultural develop-
ment were to (i) bridge the gap between the available scientific
knowledge and the extent of agricultural practices at the field
level; (ii) select areas of assured rainfall and irrigation for concenta-
ted application of a package of practices suitable for the high-
yielding varieties; (iii) achieve higher production of subsidiary
foods; and (iv) prepare detailed "schedules of operations" specify-
ing the responsibilities and roles of different agencies, see Ministry
of Agriculture, Agriculture Production in Fourth-Fifth year Plan,
New Delhi, 1965.

9. Implicit in the idea of self-sufficiency is a normative price level at
which the market will clear This price level is never defined. But
generally a physical norm of availability of foodgrains i.e. the
availability of 2,000 to 2,200 calories per day per capital, is
suggested as the target. This view of the self-sufficiency is also not
unambiguous, as the same number of calories can be obtained
from varying proportions of cereals and non-foodgrain eatables
e.g., eggs, milk, etc. In practice, a per capital per day availability ot
16 to 18 ozs. of cereals is the standard by which the foodgrains
requirement for self-sufficiency is estimated.

10. According to some other scientists, from the standpoint of
diseases wheat is more vulnerable than many other crops.

11. The wheat area during this period increased from 12.8 million
hectares (in 1966-67) to 19.2.million hectares (in 1971-72). If
related to the base period (1966-67) area, the proportion of area
under high-yielding varieties would amount to nearly 50 per cent.

12. For example, information on the market arrivals in tnad state
is not consistent with the reported increase in production.

13. Discussion in this section heavily draws upon the work of V.K.
Gupta and K.B. Kothari, "Planning and Implementation in Agri-
culture-Studies in HYV Programme, Vol. II. Mexican Wheat in
Punjab; Indian Institute of Management .Ahmedabad, 1967 (mimeo).
For a similar account, but pertaining to HYV Programme in
hybrid bajra (pearl millet) in Gujarat, see, B.M. Desai and M.D.
Desai, The New Strategy of Agricultural Development in Operation,
Thacker, Bombay, 1969.


Economic Superiority of High-Yielding Varieties

Various forms of institutional support and detailed
planning and coordination at all levels had created a suit-
able climate for rapid expansion of area under HYV wheats.
However, the most important factor in their ready accept-
ance was the expectation of higher incomes by the adopters.
This awareness of comparative advantages of the HYV of
w9heats in the Punjab in the very first year of the programme
ensured its large scale adoption [11]. Even in relatively
backward areas, such as Kosi region of Bihar, a keen
observer of the Indian rural scene, Ladejinsky found that
given assured water supply, effective varieties and remune-
rative prices, villagers in that area reacted as favourably to
new varieties as cultivators in the progressive areas [20j.
A number of studies in India have examined the factors
affecting adoption of HYV wheats and have also given
useful information on the expenditure on and net returns
from these varieties compared to the local varieties. The
objectives, scope and methodology of these studies consider-
ably vary; so do the concepts of farm size, incomes, expendi-
ture etc. which they have followed. It will be neither
possible nor useful to enumerate results of all the studies of
the HYV programme. A fairly exhaustive bibliography at
the end of this review lists most of the studies which were
conducted till 1972.
In drawing lessons from the experience of the past six
years or so, major reliance has been placed on five groups
of studies. The Programme Evaluation Organisation of the
Planning Commission made country-wide studies of the
HYV programme and evaluated its results (these are re-
ferred to as PEO studies). The results pertaining to the
rabi season (i.e. wheat season, October-April) of 1967-68
and 1968-69 have been looked into. Similarly, Intensive
Agricultural District Programme (IADP) is periodically
evaluated by a committee of experts in the Ministry of
Food and Agriculture. The IADP evaluation reports
pertaining to four principal wheat growing districts, viz.,
Aligarh (in Uttar Pradesh), Shahabad (in Bihar), Ludhiana
(in the Punjab) and Pali (in Rajasthan) were examined for
the present study. These reports cover three wheat grow-
ing seasons of 1966-67, 1967-68 and 1968-69, excepting
the report of Pali which pertains to only 1967-68.
The Ministry of Agriculture had also organised a series
of Farm Management Surveys (FMS) in various parts of the
country. Two of these schemes were located in major
wheat growing districts of Muzaffarnagar (in Uttar Pradesh)
and Erozepur (in the Punjab) and were conducted in the
post-HYV period. The reports for years 1966-67 to

1968-69 in the case of Muzaffarnagar and 1967-68 to
1969-70 in the case of Ferozepur were found relevant for
the present study. Since 1970, the Government of India
have organised a comprehensive scheme for studying the
cost of cultivation of principal crops (hereafter referred to
as Cost of Cultivation Scheme) for finding out the cost of
production of important crops grown in the country. The
results from these studies conducted in two wheat grow-
ing States of the Punjab and Haryana for the year 1970-71
and in Uttar Pradesh for the year 1971-72 were available
for scrutiny and examination.
The fifth important source utilised for the main discus-
sion is a set of studies on the High-Yielding Varieties
Programme (referred to as AERC studies) conducted by
the Agro-Economic Research Centre sponsored by the
Government of India and Functioning at various universities
and institutes of national eminence. The studies conducted
by the Centres are more in the nature of case studies, though
they cover practically all the principal wheat growing
regions, i.e., Karnal (in Haryana), Amritsar (in the Punjab),
Saharanpur (in Uttar Pradesh), Kota (in Rajasthan), Tikam-
garh (in Madhya Pradesh) and Faisabad (in Uttar Pradesh).
These studies variously cover the years 1967-68 to 1971-72.
Besides these references is also made to two studies, both
sponsored by U.N.D.P. and both having 1971-72 as the
reference year. One of these was located in the Kota
district of Rajasthan and the other in the Karnal district of
The note in the appendix gives relevant details about
the scope, coverage and the sampling technique adopted in
these various studies. Apart from the studies listed above, a
number of useful researchers have been conducted by
individual research workers. Although such studies do not
have extensive coverage of uniform set of definitions and
concepts, they do provide significant insights into the
performance of the HYV programme at the farm level. At
appropriate places, references will be made to some of
these studies.
The results pertaining to returns from HYV wheat as
revealed in various studies are summarized in Table 2.1. A
perusal of the table will show that using comparable de-
finitions of incomes, HYV wheats yield easily one and half
to two times the income which the local varieties yield.
There is, however, no marked difference in these proportions
between the areas where spread of HYV was more rapid
compared to the areas where the spread was rather slow.
Although the results from various studies are not strict-
ly comparable, they do suggest that in the areas where
HYV spread more rapidly cultivation standards of local

varieties were also fairly advanced.
The conclusions arrived at on the basis of these major
studies have been supported by a number of other studies.
The Pantnagar study of HYV wheats for 1966-67 has
shown that even while allowing for higher costs and lower
prices, the farmers adopting HYV wheats increased their
income by 70 per cent [45j. AERC study of four Karnal
villages in Haryana State for 1967-68 rabi shows that the
net returns over expenditure from Mexican wheat was
around Rs. 600 while that for the local wheat was Rs.
400 [2j. Chaurasia and Singh, in their study of a Madhya
Pradesh village (Panagar village of Jabalpur District), found
that for 1968-69, net returns from the HYV turned out to
be about 75 per cent higher than that from the local
varieties f8j. Lavania and Dixit, in their study of Aligarn
district (in Uttar Pradesh), found that adoption of HYV
resulted in a net income of about Rs. 900 per hectare while
income from local varieties was Rs. 460 [24j. Acharya's
study of Udaipur villages (in Rajasthan) showed that
HYV gave almost 75 per cent more returns compared to that

Table 2. 1. Income per hectare from HYV and Deshi wheat
(Rupees per hectare).

Income Average Income
Name of Study/ from from Deshi
Centre Year HYV Variety
Farm Management Studies:
Muzaffarnagar* 1966-67 1945 757
1967-68 1760 819
1968-69 1988 1217
Ferozepur* 1967-68 1577 475
1968-69 256 130
1969-70 324 160

A.E.R.C. Studies:
Kota** 1968-69 403 346
1971-72 344 100
Tikamgarn** 1968-69 961 643
Karnal** 1967-68 1499 988
1971-72 1195 699
Saharappur** 1967-68 1317 837
1968-69 1084 777
Faizabad** 1968-69 559 340
Amritsar** 1968-69 1340 538
Bijapur** 1967-68 1148 911

'Net Income = Gross Income minus Cost C. Coverage of different
costs in Indian Farm Management Studies are as follows:
Cost A : Hired human labour, bullock labour, machine labour, seed
manures, fertilisers, pesticides, farm buildings, interest on crop
loans and other working capital, land' revenue and other taxes, and
miscellaneous itemas such as payment to artisans etc.

Cost A2: Cost A1 plus rent paid on leased in land.

Cost 8: Cost A2 plus rental value of owned land plus interest on ow-
ned fixed capital (excluding land).

Cost C: Cost B plus imputed value of family labour.

**Net returns i.e. difference between output and Current farm
expenditure (C.F.E. includes, cash and kind expenditure).

Reference: See appendix.

from the local varieties [1j. Shyamal Roy, after looking
into the data from various studies, came to the conclusion
that in four important wheat growing areas, viz., Uttar
Pradesh, the Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, the additional
net profit (per acre) from HYV wheats was around Rs. 317
[41j. All this evidence clearly shows that net increase in
income from the adoption of HYV was sufficiently larje
to enthuse wheat growers to change-over to new varieties.
However, most of the studies reviewed above refer to
the first three years of the HYV programme. There are only
two studies relating to the more recent years viz., Kota and
Karnal studies for 1971-72. This limited information clearly
shows the economic superiority of the HYV wheat during
recent years also. On the other hand, these two studies also
suggest that the level of returns from the HYV wheats as well
as deshi wheat, has gone down considerably [3221 Three
factors may explain the lower returns in recent years- (1) in-
crease in the prices of inputs particularly fertilizer and
labour, (2) decline in the relative price of wheat over the
years and (3) the decline in yield per hectare. The decline
in the yield was caused by the low level of fertilizer use
and the use of poor quality of seed obtained from the
natural selection "on the farmers" fields. Another reason
sometimes advanced for the lower yields in the subsequent
years is that the early adopters were farmers with greater
managerial skills and better resources the subsequent adopt-
ers lacked in both. However, nothing conclusive can be
inferred from the result of the available studies. As
regards the accelerated expansion of area a reasonable
hypothesis could be that on the farms of early adopters
initial difference in net income remained the same or might
have declines-due to increase in input cost which might
have neutralised some gains from increase in productivity-
but the demonstrable gains reaped by the successive waves of
adopters kept on the accelerated pace of expansion of area
under the HYV wheats.

Economic Use of Inputs

The higher incomes from the HYV wheats could be due
to larger yields or lower per unit cost or both. The available
evidence suggests that the larger incomes are due to better
response to modern inputs-particularly fertilisers at higher
levels of input utilisation, which accounts for larger per
hectare production and profitability.
Wherever comparable data are available, it can be seen
that yields from high-yielding varieties at the field level is
easily one and half to two times the yields from the local
varieties. This is apparent both in the developed as well as
relatively underdeveloped -egions. However, in developed
regions, like Ludhiana (in the Punjab), the difference in
the yields from the local and Mexican varieties is larger in
absolute terms than, say, in the underdeveloped areas like
Shahabad (in Bihar) or Pall (in Rajasthan) (See Table 2.2).
There are few reliable studies to look into per unit cost
of the HYV and the traditional varieties. The cost

Table 2.2. Yield Levels of HYV & Deshi (local) Variety of Wheat.

Name of Study/
A.E.R.C. Studies
1. Kota

2. Tikamgarh

3. Karnal

4. Amritsar

5 Shaharanpur

6 Faizabad

Yield (kg/ha)
Year Variety HYV Desi

1988-69 S-64
Kalyan Sona
1971-72 All HYV
1968-69 S-64
Other HYV
Total of HYV
1967-68 LR
(Safed Lerma)
1971-72 All HYV
1967-68 PV-18
Other HYV
1968-69 All HYV
1967-68 Mexican
1968-69 Mexican
1968-69 LR
S 64













comprehensive and detailed enquiry among these, viz.,
Comprehensive Scheme to study Cost of Cultivation
sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, has shown that
for 1970-71, per quintal cost of production of wheat
from the HYV was lower, to the tune of Rs. 3, both in
the Punjab and Haryana. Lavania and Dixit's study in
Aligarh district (in Uttar Pradesh) also suggest somewhat
lower per unit cost for HYV compared to the local
wheats [22j.
The main source of higher incomes is larger yields due
to better response of the HYV to the use of improved
inputs. A number of studies have been made to assess the
economic returns from the use of inputs in the production
of HYV wheat. Most of these studies have concentrated on
the response of fertilizer which is the crucial factor in
determining yields from the HYV. There are, however, a
few studies which have looked into this problem in a more
comprehensive way. As an illustration, one can cite the
study by P.V.G.K. Rao [38j for the year 1968-69 which
covered Amristsar district of the Punjab State.
In this study, an attempt was made to examine the
technical conditions of production of four different varie-

ties of wheat, three Mexican varieties and one local variety,
by estimating production functions of the Cobb-Doughlas
type. For each variety, the following functions were fitted:

(i) Y- axb

where Y = output
x = production expenses in
b = elasticity of output with
respect to production

(ii) Y =ax,1 x22

where Y = output
x = production expenses in rupees
x2 = farm size in acres
bi andb2 = elasticity of output with
respect to the factors of

In this exercise all the multiple correlation coefficients
were found to be statistically significant at 1 per cent level
and value of R2 indicated that with a solitary exception i.e.
in three out of the four varieties examined, more than 90
per cent of the variations in output were explained by the

Table 22 (continued)

Name of Study/


7. Bijapur

Farm Management Studies
1. Muzaffarnagar

2. Ferozepur

I.A.D.P. Studies
1. Aligarh


3. Ludhiana

4. Pali
Cost of Cultivation Study
1. Haryana
2. Punjab
Ad-hoc Studies
U.P. Small Farmers' Study
1. Badaun
2. Nainltal

Reference: See Appendix.


1966-67 2414
1967-68 3254
1968-69 3482
1967-68 2708
1968-69 2950
1969-70 2829

1966-67 HYV
1967-68 HYV
1968-69 HYV
1966-67 Mexican
1967-68 Mexican
1968-69 Mexican
1966-67 Mexican
1967-68 LR
1968-69 PV-18
1967-68 S-64



factors included in the analysis. From the test carried out
for finding the deviation of the sum of elasticities from
unity, it was concluded that constant returns to scale
existed in the case of PV-18, Sonalika (S-308) and local
wheat and increasing returns prevailed in the production
of Kalyan. Marginal value productivities were estimated at
geometric mean level of inputs for all the four varieties. It
was found that Kalyan tops the list followed by PV-18 and
Sonalika in that order. Further, it was estimated that an
average increase in production expenses-which approxima-
te to the variable costs-by one rupee, other inputs being
held constant, would generate additional output worth
Rs. 2.89 in the case of Kalyan, Rs. 2.70 for PV-18, Rs.
2.48 for Sonalika and Rs. 2.42 for local varieties.
The second type of function revealed that an additional
rupee spent on total expenses added output worth Rs. 2.19
in case of Sonalika. The returns per rupee of expenditure
in the case of other varieties i.e., Kalyan, PV-18 and local
were calculated at Rs. 1.27, Rs. 1.36 and Rs. 0.90 respect-
ively. It was further estimated that keeping the same input-
output ratios, an addition of one acre under Kalyan
brings returns of Rs. 524.80, while return from an acre under

PV-18 will be Rs. 393.80, Rs. 395.42 from Sonalika and
Rs. 304.60 from the local variety.
In another study of HYV wheat in Udaipur district of
Rajasthan, Acharya came to the conclusion that taking all
the inputs into account, HYV wheats yield almost 75 per
cent higher returns compared to that from the local
varieties [1I. The productivity of almost all inputs was
found to be higher in the case of the former. Judged by
the production elasticities and marginal value products,
the resources employed in the HYV were found to be used
more efficiently.
Further, the PEO study for rabi 1968-69 concluded that
yield levels within a State suggest that among the HYV
growers, the higher the use of improved inputs, particularly
fertilisers and the larger the adoption of improved practi-
ces, the better are the results [341. Similar conclusions
were arrived at by some of the AERC studies [10].
Analysing the farm level data from three wheat growing
IADP districts, Malone concluded that in two of these
districts, correlation between the lower use of fertilizer
and lower yields could be discerned, although the relation-
ship was not close. He found that in all the situations

Yield (kg/ha)
HYV Desi
1862 1393








1940 960
2260 780

examined a rupee invested in fertilisers yielded more than
its value in terms of extra yields 1251.
The differing responses from the use of fertilisers with
the HYV and the local wheats were brought out more
sharply by the data from the controlled experiments. One
such study of the economics of input use in HYV and local
wheats in the Punjab State was made by Kahlon and Kaul
[15j. This study which was based on experimental results
used a non-linear regression function with output as the
dependent variables and cost of fertilizer (including cost of
application) as the only input cost. The economics of
fertilizer use on semi-dwarf high-yielding wheat, Kalyan-227
and two tall indigenous improved wheat varieties, i.e.,
C-273 and C-306, cultivated in the Punjab was examined.
It was found that with a fertilizer dose of 90 kgs. the
semi-dwarf wheat, Kalyan-227 produces 32.7 per cent
higher yield than C-306 and 42 per cent more yield than
C-273. It was further observed that at the recommended
level of fertilizer application for C-306, i.e. 60 kg. of N
and 30 kg. of P205, per hectare yield from this variety
was 36.83 quintals while with the same amount of fertilizer
it came to 40.90 quintals for Kalyan-227. Thus, because of
the superior plant type, the HYV gave good performance
even at the low level of fertilisation.
Herdt examined the response to fertilizer applied at
optimal and half-optimal level with various price discounts,
to contrast the yields from the HYV and the local varieties.
The study was based on experimental results. Cost of
fertilizer used was taken as the only input cost and net
returns were arrived at by deducting from total returns the.
cost of fertilizer. This study also corroborated the results
available from similar other studies 113j.
Using the data obtained from the fertilizer experiments
conducted at the U.P. Agricultural University on the Mexican
red and Indian amber wheats for three years, 1965-66,
1966-67 and 1967-68 Singh and Sharma studied the
response of the three Mexican red varieties, Sonora-63,
Sonora-64 and Lerma Rojo, and three Indian amber wheats,
NP-876, NP-887 and C-306, to nitrogen, by fitting a
quadratic production function [381. It was concluded
that the Mexican red wheats gave relatively much higher
response to nitrogen at all levels of application than the
Indian amber wheat. At the level of nitrogen giving
maximum yield per hectare, the Mexican red wheat yields
about 1.6 times more than the Indian amber varieties. The
level of nitrogen application giving the maximum possible
profit was 1.5 times more for the Mexican than for the
Indian wheats. The total revenue and total cost per hectare
incidental to the application of nitrogen were respectively
2.5 and 1.5 times higher for the Mexican wheat than for
the Indian varieties. On an average the Mexican dwarf
gave 17.7 kgs. for each kg. of nitrogen applied compared
to 14.1 kgs. for the best of the local varieties at their
respective most profitable levels of nitrogen application.
Finally, it was observed that the dwarf varieties use fertili-
ser more efficiently than the best of the tall varieties even at
40 kgs. per hectare application of nitrogen.

Most of the above studies examine the yields of the
Mexican wheat under irrigated conditions. No field data
are available for the rainfed conditions. However, the
results of the All India Coordinated Agro-Economic Exper-
iments showed that with the application of same dosage of
fertilisers increase in the yield from Mexican varieties even
under rainfed conditions was higher. In Meerut with the
application of 50 kg. of nitrogen the additional yields
were 667 kgs. from Sonalika. In Ambala, additional yields
were 480 kgs. as against 460 kgs. for the deshi varieties.
An important implication of these findings is that the
returns from the HYV, other things remaining the same,
would depend upon the extent of use of fertilisers. Although
even at the low level of fertilisation and even in rainfed
conditions the HYV are likely to yield higher returns, the
gains are larger when higher dosage of fertilisers are used
under irrigated conditions.

Range of Variations in Income from HYV

An important finding of various studies in the economics
of the HYV wheat is that average returns from an acre
under the HYV wheat varied widely among the adopters.
Significant variations between different regions growing
the HYV wheats was brought out in a number of studies.
For example, the IADP data suggested that the highest
yields obtained in one district, viz., Shahabad were barely
equal to the lowest obtained in another district, viz.,
Ludhiana'. Although these comparisons are based on group
averages, and within the groups wide variations prevail, yet
the difference between the two areas is too wide to be over-
lookeA. The AERC studies exhibited a wide variations
between the returns and yield in different regions. The per
hectare returns ranged between as low as Rs. 344.12 in
Kota to about Rs. 1500 in Karnal. The yields per hectare
ranged between 8.06 qntls. in Kota to 38.45 qntls. in
Amritsar. Similarly, the PEO study has shown that six out
of the 14 wheat blocks in 1967-68 and seven in 1968-69
recorded higher than average returns per acre.
Equally remarkable variations were observed among the
adopters within the same area. Some idea of these varia-
tions can be obtained from the group averages given in the
Table 2.2. A more accurate picture emerges from the data
from the Cost of Cultivation Scheme. More than 90 per
cent of the area under wheat covered under this study were
already brought under the High Yielding Varieties. Follow-
ing data from the Cost of Cultivation Survey gives an indica-
tion of range in cost of cultivation, yield and cost of pro-
duction (See Table 2.3).
These variations can be explained by three distinct groups
of factors. First of these pertains to the spatial aspects,
particularly agro-climatic factors and development of pub-
lic infrastructure in different areas. Second relevant factor
is the use of different high yielding varieties. And third,
probably the most important, factor is the extent of the
use of modern inputs.

From the available accounts, yields obtained from HYV
wheats in Punjab were significantly higher than those from
the similar varieties in other regions, say, Uttar Pradesh or
Madhya Pradesh. Such differences were observed even
before the advent of new varieties (because of agro-climatic
factors and the development of infrastructure in some of
the areas). The IADP studies have brought out the differ-
ence in yields in these areas before and after the advent of
the HYV. The average wheat yield in IADP district of
Ludhiana in 1964-65 was 24.6 quintals per hectare. In
the same year, tie average yield in Shahabad was only
10.9 quintals. In 1968-69, the high-yielding varieties
yielded 35.5 quintals per hectare in Ludhiana and 18.1
quintals per hectare in Shahabad. The net increment in
income realized by the adoption of HYV, after deducting
cost of only fertilisers and ancilliary costs, was Rs. 680 in
Ludhiana, that in Shahabad was Rs. 550.6. Similar differ-
ences can be brought out from the comparison of yields in
different districts before and after the adoption of the
HYV. As a rule, the regions where crop yields were higher
in the pre-HYV period have also registered larger increases
;n yields after the adoption of the HYV.
Within the same region, differences in yields can be
partially explained by the use of different high yielding
varieties. In some areas, for example, in Amritsar district,
Sonalika obtained the highest per acre net returns [38j
while in another area, Udaipur district (in Rajasthan),
Kalyansona proved to be the superior variety [46j. In
yet another area, of the three varieties studied, viz.,
Kalyansona, PV-18 and Sonalika, Kalyansona not only gave
higher return but also relatively more stable net returns
per acre. In A.P. Rao's study also, Sonalika and Kalyansona
varieties were found to be more productive compared to
either Lerma Rojo or C-591 varieties [37J. Sisodia's
study in Indore district [43j showed that the gross output
for Kalyansona, terma Rojo and Sonora-64 worked out to
about Rs. 4,100, Rs. 2,740, Rs. 2,480 per hectare respect-
ively. It is difficult to say whether these differences in
returns are due to instrinsic superiority of different varie-
ties or they can be ascribed to the varying quantities of
inputs used by different adoptera. Although, it might be
mentioned that in all research trials Kalyansona establish-
ed its superiority over other varieties in terms of yield,
however, it was also found to be more susceptible to leaf-
rust once the disease appeared on the scene. In any case,
the very fact that about 10 important high yielding
varieties of wheat are in vogue suggests that no one variety
is uniformly superior in all the wheat growing regions.
The more fundamental difference, and on that there is
substantial evidence to support, is the differing use of
inputs by the adooters. Starting with seeds, though the
recommended dose is 35 to 40 kgs. per acre, the actual use
among most of the adopters was found to be lower; in some
cases, as low as eight to 15 kgs. While such extreme cases
might reflect limited availability and high prices of the
improved seeds, the general pattern as revealed in a number
of AERC studies was the use of 25 to 30 kgs. of seeds per

acre. The quality of seed also was not found to be as good
as one would have expected. It was noted that the seeds
from the registered or certified seed growers could be
obtained only by a limited number of cultivators and the
rest had to depend on "natural spread", i.e., either on their
own selections or from the selections of other fellow
cultivators. Very few instances of treatment of seeds to
protect them from the likely attacks of pests were observ-
ed. Even in a few cases where the seeds were treated,
subsequent spray of pesticides was practically non-existent.
Both Farm Management Surveys and Cost of Cultivation
Surveys have recorded less than one per cent of total cost
on insecticides and pesticides. Low expenditure on pestici-
de may be due to the general belief that the new varieties
are inmune from pests and diseases. (This; belief was shaken
after the reports of the appearance of rusts in the new
varieties in some of northern wheat growing regions in the
winter of 1973).
In general, however, Indian wheat farmers suffer little
field damage from insects and there are no chemical treat-
ments for rust which are economically viable in the Indian
context. To date, rust can only be confronted through
efforts in plant breeding.
Although HYV have been adopted mainly on irrigated
areas, the extent and the nature of irrigation have varied.
Large profits from the dwarf wheats depends heavily on
assured supplies of water. In fact, irrigation at fixed times
in the growth cycle of the plant is essential to the realisa-
tion of its high-yield potential. Only cultivators with assured

Table 2.3. Maximum, minimum and average values of cost
of cultivation, yield and cost of production of wheat,* 1970-

Haryana Punjab
Cost of Cultivation Maximum 2,127.00 2,692.16
(Cost C)** per Minimum 401.45 758.84
hectare (Rs). Average 1,093.59 1,489.46
Yield per hectare Maximum 58.57 53.94
quintalss) Minimum 9.23 8.27
Average 22.74 24.40
Cost per quintal Maximum 121.84 150.97
(Cost C) (Rs.) Minimum 17.29 25.35
Average 48.10 61.04

*Reprinting farmers had 90 per cent of their area in HYV's.
**Net of the value of the by-product.

In Indian Farm Management Studies coverage of different costs is
as follows:
Cost Al: Hired human labour, bullock labour, machine labour, seed,
manures, fertilisers, pesticides, irrigation, depreciation in imple-
ments and farm buildings, interest on crop loans and other working
capital, land revenue and other taxes and miscellaneous items
such payment to artisans etc.
Cost A2: Cost A1 plus rent paid on leased in land.
Cost B: Cost A2 plus rental value of owned land plus interest on ow-
ned fixed capital (excluding land)
Cost C: Cost B plus imputed value of family labour.

N.B. MIore than 90 per cent area in the sample was under the HYV

water, i.e., those having private tubewells, could reap
full advantages from the cultivation of the Mexican varieties.
Ladejinsky observed that in Purnea district (in Bihar)
cultivators who not only derived irrigation water from
canals but also had access to privately owned tubewells did
significantly better and felt more assured than those who
were exclusively dependent on public canals [22j. This
was mainly due to the lack of coordination between the
agricultural department and the irrigation department.
Often canals are closed when there is a critical need for
water. In Rajasthan also, the districts with larger concentra-
tion of private tubewells, e.g. Alwar and Jaipur, showed
greater proportion of wheat area under new varieties
compared to the districts relying mostly on government
canals for irrigation [3j. Wherever the HYV programme
has gained momentum and other conditions, such as
adequate size of farm, the availability of power etc., have
been fulfilled, the farmers have invested heavily on creat-
ing their own supplementary sources of water supplies. The
superiority of tubewells irrigation to canal irrigation in
terms of higher profitability was also established by the
Farm Management Studies of the Ferozepur district 144],
and in the cost of cultivation study for the Punjab, although
in Haryana canal irrigation proved to be cheaper 1281.
Partly because of the non-availability of adequate water
supplies from public irrigation system, the HYV adopters
in many areas could not give adequate irrigation. Adminis-
tration of the canal system often brings water to the
farmer when he does not need it and makes water complete-
ly unavailable in periods when needs are critical. In the
AERC study of Saharanpur district (in Uttar Pradesh) during
1968-69 season, it was observed that most of the farmers
irrigated their wheat only four times, while the recom-
mended number of watering was six [37]. Similarly the
Kota study reported that farmers who were mostly served
by canals, irrigated their wheat crop three times, whereas
four to five waterings were recommended. It was also noted
that many farmers could not give irrigation at proper
time [3].
Practically all the studies of HYV have concluded that
the use of fertilizer is much below the recommended levels.
Probably, on most of the soils K is not needed but the use
of P is also found to be grossly inadequate. Even the use
of N varies widely among the adopters. The PEO study
concluded that the application of fertilisers ranged widely
from 15 to 137 per cent (of the recommended doses) in
1967 68 and 12 to 102 per cent in the following year 1231.
One ol the tenson. for not Iisi i adequate quantities ol P
ilpolled to lhe lthe licl lhil lhe teady made mixtuile
constililliln) te 1w (l quitid 'pilool io ol N, P and K I i ther
Mexican varieliei.; wene not available, and, therelole, the
laiimeis had to Ipuichase diiffcent types of fertiliseis and
mix them in proportions they thought proper 137j. The
IADP study has shown that between 1967-68 and 1968-69
feitiliser utilisation increased from 230,000 tonnes to
880,000 tonnes. However, only 30 per cent of the farmers
.i)plied the recommended quantity of nitrogenous fertilizer

and hardly any farmer used the recommended quantity of
P [19j. Similarly, in Purnea district of Bihar the utilisation
of fertilizer between 1964-65 and 1968-69 jumped from
62 to 900 tonnes. This nearly 15-fold increase, however,
does not mean that the farmers have applied fertilisers at
the recommended level. If they had done so, the con-
sumption would have been nearly 2,700 tonnes 1201.
It has been shown that the farmers who had adopted all
the ingredients of new technology along with HYV seeds,
viz., seed treatment, proper irrigation, adequate fertilisers,
preventive plant protection, etc. had reaped excellent
harvests, but the farmers adopted all these ingredients were,
according to PEO study, only 20 per cent among the
adopters of HYV paddy and wheat 123].

Beneficiaries of High-Yielding Varieties Programme

The wide variations in incomes from HYV wheat natural-
ly raises the question as to who has benefited the most
from this programme., The available information is not clear
enough to permit any categorical answer or to define, in a
precise manner, the factors which could be associated with
successful adoption of the HYV programme at the field
level. A major difficulty in analysing the data arises
because in mostof the Indian studies, farmers are categorised
only by the size groups of land holdings. Operational area
of land is one of the several resources owned or hired by
an agricultural producing unit and access to cultivable
area is one of the several attributes of a decision maker.
But the available data is so organised that one has little
option but to look into the performance in relation to the
size of land holdings. There is, however, some justification
in proceeding with the size of land holding as the first
approximation of the resource base of an agricultural
firm in rural India. This is because most other assets as well
as access to the scarce or the subsidized resources hold
close and positive relationship with the size of holdings. The
subsequent discussion, therefore, categorise the farmers on
the basis of the extent of land they own operate and the
limitations of such an uni-dimensional classification should
be borne in mind while interpreting results. Another quali-
fication needs to be added. From the studies it seems that
the areas where land consolidation has taken place, the pace
of adoption has been made rapid. The consolidate hold-
ings increased the prospect of digging shallow tube wells, at
least on the medium sized holdings 1401.
Judged by the first year of adoption of new varieties
or the proportion of adopters in each gioup in any particu-
lar yea;, the laire farmers show a cleai lead in their involve-
ment with the programme. Thus, in the PEO study of the
HYV progiamme, it was found that a much larger propor-
tion of the adoptees among the larger holding groups had
adopted the HYV in the very first or in the subsequent
year of its introduction. Reverse was irue in case of the
small farmers (see Table 2.4). That the large farmers are
early adopters is borne out by a number of other studies.
The IADP study for Ludhiana (in the Punjab) observed that

Tahl 24. Percentage of adopters by size of holding groups.

Name of Study/Centre
A.E.R.C. Studies:
1. Kota (Rajasthan)

2. Faizabad (U.P.)

3. Karnal (Haryana)

4. Amritsar (Punjab)

5. Saharanpur (U.P.)

Farm Management Studies
1. Ferozepur (Punjab)

2. Muzaffarnagar

PEO Studies
1. Bihar

2. Haryana

Percent of
HYV adop
Year Size Group ters

Below 5 acres
1968-69 5 10
Above 60
SAll farms
1968-69 0-1 acres
15 and above
1967-68 0-5 acres
1967-68 5-10 acres
45 and above
1967-68 Below 5 acres
50 and above

1969-70 Below 6 acres
24 and above
1968-69 0-2.87 ha.
4.72 -696
10.66 and above

1967-68 Below 2.5 acre,
(Rabi) 2.5-5
50 and above
1967-68 Below 2.5 acres
(Rabi) 2.5-5
50 and above




s 42

Tahle 2.4 (

Name of Study/Centre
3. Punjab

4. Rajasthan

5. Uttar Pradesh

6. All States


1967-38 Below 2 .i acl
(Rabi) 2.5 5
5 10
50 and above
1967-68 Below 2.5acres
(Rabi) 205-5
50 and above
1967-68 Below 2.5acres
(Rabi) 2.5-5
50 and above
1967-68 Below 2.5acres
(Rabi) 2.5--5
50 and above

generally the farms with larger holdings were the first to
adopt HYV [26j. In fact, one of the reasons for rapid
expansion of HYV in Ludhiana is ascribed to a relatively
larger number of holdings in the medium, i.e. four to
eight hectares, and large size groups. Very small holdings,
say, of less than one hectare, are very few and even hold-
ings of the size of one to four hectares are relatively fewer.
On the other hand, in Pali (in Rajasthan) where the program-
me did not made much of a headway, most of the holdings,
i.e., 62 per cent, were below four hectares.
A much sharper picture emerges when the size of
holdings of the adopters and non-adopters in the same year
and in the same area are compared. Invariably the large
size holders are represented more than proportionately
among the adopters. For example, Lockwood, Mukherjee
and Shand utilizing data for three successive PEO studies
from 1967-68 to 1969-70 concluded that the data revealed
a strong positive linear association between the proportion
of farmers adopting the HYV seed and the size of farm for
all these three years. Correlation analysis carried out on
the relationship showed highly significant R2 value. While
this farm size relationship holds generally valid, particular
instances of variations were cited especially in those
districts where the adoption was virtually universal, for
example, for the four Punjab wheat district-Amritsar,
Ferozepur, Patiala and Ludhiana. However, even in these
districts the general relationship could be observed in the
early years, but by 1969-70, the small farmers had also
caught up with their large neighbours [23].

I'rii l of
I IHYV .idoI
SI/fG Uioup teT

s 58

Using the same data base, i.e., PEO reports, Schluter
studied the relationship between adoption of HYV and
farm size. He found that the hypothesis that adoption is
unrelated to farm size stood rejected at 0.5 per cent level,
indicating that a significant positive relationship exists. Even
when 98 per cent of the farmers in an area had adopted
HYV, as it happened in the rabi season of 1968-69 in the
Punjab, the slope of the co-efficient is still positive, thus,
suggesting that at every level of adoption those few who
remained outside the fold have small farms [391. Farm
Management Studies for Ferozepur and Muzaffarnagar also
substantiate this view, particularly when data for 1968-69
and 1969-70 are taken into account 116].
However, it may be pointed out that the positive
association between farm size and the extent of adoption
obtained mainly because of the diffusion policy of the
government. It was mentioned in section I that for the
initial spread of HYVs farmers with adequate irrigation
facility and other resources were selected. Therefore,
there is no wonder if the association was positive. The
low participation by the small farmers in the later stages may
be explained by unavailability of irrigation facilities; most
of the small farmers who did not grow HYV wheat did not
have irrigation facility 13].
Not only the large farmers are early adopters and at
every stage they have more than .proportionate represent-
ation among the adopters but also as a general rule the
large farmers seem to adopt HYV on proportionately larger
wheat areas cultivated by them. This, however, is not
universally true although the weight of evidence is unmistak-
able. Studying the relationship between proportion of
acreage under HYV and farm size and using PEO data
Schluter observed that in wheat growing areas, there is a
significant positive relationship between the proportion of
acreage under new varieties and farm size indicating that
the proportion of acreage under new varieties increases as
farm size increases2 [39j. The PEO studies, IADP Aligarh
study and AERC studies in Karnal and Amritsar support
this trend. On the other hand, AERC studies in Kota,
Bijapur, Faizabad and Saharanpur exhibited the reverse
trend. The Farm Management Study of Ferozepur sug-
gested a positive relationship between farm size and the
proportion of wheat area under HYV, although no such
evidence was forthcoming in another Farm Management
Study, i.e., of Muzaffarnagar. Findings from some of these
studies are summarized in Table 2.5.
The thiro conclusion of a similar nature is that, by and
laiqe; the larger size groups obtain larger per hectare net
income hfom HYV wheats than the smaller size groups.
Thus, Ferozepur Farms Manaqlemenl Survey revealed that
while the per hectare net income lor size group below six
hectares was Rs. 676, it was around Rs. 1,100 in case of
holdings above 24 hectares 1161. Similar conclusions could
be reached from the Farm Management Study of Muzaf-
fainagar, although the difference among various size groups
in that case was not very sharp. Most of the AERC's studies
have also arrived at the similar findings.

In the Haryana study of HYV wheats during 1969-70, it
was found that the farm business incomes increase with
the size of holdings, from Rs. 1,428 for less than five acres
farm to Rs. 13,028 for farm above 30 acres [5]. Shah
and Ali's study of 60 farmers selected according to the
probability proportional to a number of farmers in each
size group from three clusters of 'illages in Nainital
district (in Uttar Pradesh) showed that the value of per
acre production in the HYV increases with the size group
of holding [40]. Lavania and Dixit's study or Alicarh
district (in Uttar Pradesh) showed that the cost of produc-
tion of wheat suggested a declining trend with increase in
the size of farm. The net income (gross output-total cost
per acre) for the local wheat showed a declining trend with
an increase in the size of farm. The net income (gross

output-total cost per acre) for the local wheat showed a
declining trend with an increase in the size of farm, while
for the HYV wheat it was maximum for the large farms
and minimum for the medium size farms [22]. In another
study, it was concluded that taking into account all the
inputs increasing returns to scale were indicated for HYV
wheat whereas the local variety revealed decreasing returns
to scale [1]. The AERC Study of Saharanpur (in Uttar
Pradesh) also concluded that the cultivators in the largest
size group of holdings achieved relatively higher yield
with lesser expenditure as compared to those in the small-
est size group. The AERC Studies of Kota (1971-72),
Saharanpur, Karnal and the PEO study also showed that
large farmers realized significantly higher per hectare yield
as compared to the yield obtained by the small farmers;
Bijapur and Aligarh studies exhibited opposite trend.
However, the weight of evidence suggests a positive
association of per hectare income and the size of holding
(See tables 2.6 and 2.7).
These findings are, however, not universally observed.
Some of the studies, for example, the PEO study, have
shown that there was a clear and positive association between
farm size and the HYV participation in terms of adopting
farmers, but no such consistent pattern emerged between
farm size and levels of fertilizer use. This was particularly
true in the Punjab, although the same study observed that in
Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar, per hectare use of
fertilisers tended to increase with farm size. The AERC
study of Saharanpur district revealed that all the cultivators
irrespective of their land holding size obtained the same per
hectare output. From this study, it was concluded that the
returns to scale were constant and, also, that cultivators
in different size groups were using the same level of inputs
and as a result the per acie output from a particular
variety did not differ significantly among different size
groups of cultivators.
In the absence of universally observed results, one will
have to resort to the qualitative assessment of the factors
which contribute to the increase of income from the HYV
and to relate the availability of these factors on different
size groups of holdings. This task is attempted in following

Table 2.5. Area under HYV wheat as percentage to total wheat area in different size of holding groups.

Name of Study/Centre
. A.E.R.C. Studies:
Kota (Rajasthan)
(Sultanpur Panchayat)
(Ladpur Panchayat Samiti)

Karnal (Haryanai

Faizabad (U.P.)

Size Groups*
Below 5.01- 10.01- 15.01-
5 10.0 15.0 20.0

1968-69 25.49 14.21 33.78 26.00
1968-69 81.25 59.04 34.67 23.73

0-5 5-10 10-15 15-25
1967-68 20.00 59.49 61.39 65.07

0-1 1-5 3-5 5-10
1968-69 94.44 50.02 46.94 46.03

20.01- 30.01- 40.01- 60.01- Total
30.0 40.0 60.0 & above




34.11 21.45 21.62 25.77
62.36 6.25 30.00 41.72

50-75 75-100 100-200 Total
75.71 85.56 94.47 74.80

15 & above Total
33.12 47.33

Saharanpur (U.P.)

Bijapur (Mysore)

Amritsar (Punjab)

II: Farm Management Studies:
1. Muzaffarnagar (U.P.)

2. Ferozepur (Punjab)

III: P.E.O.Studies
Evaluation study of the HYV
Programme, 1968-69

IV: I.A.D.P. Studies:
Aligarh (U.P.)

*Acres, unless otherwise noted.









5 5-10 10-15 15-20 20-25 25-50 50 & above Total
60.4 56.6 58.3 58.2 58.2 45.6 59.3
51.20 49.76 56.87 68.44 70.85 63.05

10 10-20 20-30 30-50 50-75 75 & above Total
65.21 77.78 55.00 71.03 57.64 66.20 65.95

5 5-10 10-15 15-20 20-25 25-35 35-45 45-60 60-75 75 & above Total
85.87 87.14 84.49 93.80 100.00 95.37 99.37 100.00 100.0 100.0 95.60

ha 2.88- 4.72- 6.97- 10.66 &
0-2.87 4.71 6.96 10.65 above Overall

40.54 36.55 32.60 47.70 32.75 37.77
20.66 50.44 21.91 26.23 18.53 23.49
43.02 56.74 36.08 30.94 38.86 37.92

34.74 47.58 30.20 34.96 20.05 33.06

Below 24 &
6 6-9 9-14 14-24 above Total
10.18 10.26 12.26 11.01 11.92 11.14
27.73 27.58 29.77 30.38 36.88 30.70
31.85 34.05 31.66 35.88 32.66 33.74

23.25 23.96 24.56 25.75 27.15 25 27

Below 2.5- 5.0- 10.0- 20.0- 50.0 &
2.5 5.0 10.0 20.0 50.0 above Total

10.64 28.29 25.74 27.02 30.17 36.96 29.05
66.07 58.38 62.58 61.97 66.80 79.74 65.88

Below 4 &
2 ha. 2-4 above Total

1967-68 31.66 45.81 38.69 39.46


Table 2.6. Net Income by Size of Operational Holding
Groups: Farm Management Studies.

Name of Study/
Ferozepur (Punjabi

Net Income
Year Size Group average
1967-70 Below 6 acres 676'
6 9 585
9- 14 431
14-24 758
24 & above 758


Muzaffarnagar (U.P.)


Below 2.85 ha.
10.66 & above

All farms



Table 2.6 (cont'd). A.E.R.C. Studies, Faizabad (U.P.),
1968-69 (Rs./ha)

Size Group Total HYV Desi
(acres) Participants 1968-69 1967-68 1968-69 1967-68

1-3 P
3-5 P
5-10 P
10-15 P
15 & above P
Overall P


181 208 -205 47
-10 -2
64 200 98 43
-25 13
68 163 74 34
- 255 6
232 112 241 -36
- 92 117
238 148 47 14

78 293 -10 108

79 192 11 57
68 29

*Rs. per acre.
* Rs. per hectare.

Table 2.6 (cont'd). A.E.R.C. Studies, Bijapur, 1967-68

Size Group Participants Non-participants
(acres) Mexican Irrigated Unirrigated
Below 10 699 368 100
10-20 350 181 61
20-30 652 234 99
30-30 408 241 60
50-75 426 279 84
75 & above 536 547 65

Average 464 287 74

Table 2.6 (cont'd). A.E.R.C. Studies, Saharnapur (U.P.)
1968-69 (Rs./Acre).

Size Groups S-308 S-227
(acres) LR (Sonalika) (Kalyana) 591

Below 5 324 233 280
5-10 293 500 430 283
10-15 360 550 698 396
15-25 357 390 470 280
25 & above 245 637 555 400

Average 314 480 572 314

Table 2.6 (cont'd). A.E.R.C. Studies, Saharanpur (U.P.),
1967-68 (Rs./Acre)

Net Returns
Size Group Mexican Local HYV Desi
5-10 527 356 304
10-15 461 334 372
15-20 622 331 462
20-25 566 355 479
25-50 418 308 273
50 & above 605 468 280
Average 533 357 339

P = Participants in HYV programme.
NP= Non-participants in HYV programme.

Table 2.6 (cont'd). A.E.R.C. Studies, Amritsar (Punjab),
1968-69 (Rs./Acre).

Size Groups S-308
(Acres) Kalyan PV-18 (Smolika) Desi
Below 5 624 482 956
5-10 446 343 275
10-15 724 511 480 229
15-20 621 496 427 152
20-25 500 363 303 123
25-35 646 427 333 286
35-45 640 820 939 276
45-60 607 557 366 183
60-75 721 706 502
75 & above 564 470 411 423

Average 608 488 532 218

Table 2.6 (cont'd). A.E.R.C. Studies, Kota, 1971-72

Size Group (Sona Desi Variety
(Acres) Kalyan) Irrigated Unirrigated
Below 5 50 -106 -27
5-10 146 -108 99
10-15 153 55 56
15-20 98 306 29
20-30 59 -5 -13
30-40 117 47
40-60 279 282 35
60 & above 245 98 -17

Average 144 85 17

Factors Determining High Incomes from High-Yielding

The resource base: Evidence of proportionately larger
incomes from HYV wheats on the larger farms is provided
by certain indirect indications. As will be shown presently,
the most important distinguishing feature of adopters from
the non-adopters is an access to assured water supply,
typically from one's ow;: tubewell, in the case of former..
In a State like Punjab, the command area of a private
tubewell is reckoned at 20 to 25 acres. This places holdings
above or around this size in a clearly advantageous position,
excepting in areas where purchase of water from neighbour-
ing tubewells is a common practice. Extension workers at
Punjab Agricultural University suggest that the optimum size
of holding for efficient cultivation of HYV wheats, assum-
ing a tubewell, but not necessarily mechanical power, i.e.
tractor, is about 20 to 25 acres. This floor can be reduced
with efficient management, to 15 acres [9]. But the
prospects of availing fullest economies of modern technolo-
gy on holdings below this level are not very encouraging in
the present state of factor markets and availability of
public infra-structure (See Table 2.8).
Apart from an optimum size of holding indicated by
economic operation of a tubewell, new wheats also require
improved farm equipment to produce highest yields, e.g.,
improved ploughs, discs, and harrows for proper land
levelling and seed and fertilizer drills for shallow planting
and exact spacing of seedlings; and only the large farmers,
most of whom have already made capital investments in
tubewells and improved equipment are initially in a
position to adopt new high-yielding varieties and also to
exploit their potentialities to the maximum.
Irrigation: Practically every study of the economies of
HYV wheat has emphasised the importance of irrigation
and its timing. In the areas where HYV programme has
succeeded, irrigation has received considerable impetus,
particularly in terms of encouragement of private invest-
ment in tubewells and pump-sets. Concommitant with this,
there has been a complete reorientation of the rural
electrification programme which is now directed, mainly
towards energising pumps and water lifting devices.
The effect of irrigation facitilies on the adoption of
the HYVs is well brought out in a survey of the farm
economy of Haryana [5]. For this study, the State was
divided into three regions-Northern, which comprises
districts of Ambala, Jind and Karnal; Centre, which
comprises districts of Hissar excluding Bhiwani and Loharu
tehsils, and district of Rohtak excluding Jhajjar tehsil;
and Southern, which comprises district of Gurgaon and
Mohindergarh and Bhiwani, Loharu and Jhajjar tehsils.
The Northern region has nearly 67 per cent of the cultivated
areas irrigated, this compared with 21 per cent of the South-
ern region and 55 per cent of the Central region. Wherever
better irrigation facilities exist, a much larger percentage
of cultivators have taken to improved methods of agricultu-
re and have thus increased their incomes and output. For

Table 2.7. Yield of Mexican Wheat by Size of Holding.
A.E.R.C. Studies.

Size Group Yield (q/ha)
Kota (Rajasthan) 171-72 (Sone Kalyan)
Below 5 acres 9.78
5-10 14.28
10-15 15.41
15-20 14.30
20-30 14.87
30-40 14.05
40-60 22.70
60 & above 19.88
Average 15.71
Bijapur (Mysore) 1967-68
Upto 10 acres 23.00
10.1-20 17.54
20.1-30 24.82
30.1-50 18.53
50.1-75 16.55
75.1 & above 17.07
Average 18.62
Saharanpur (U.P.) 1968-69
0-5 acres 12.94
5-10 19.34
10-15 25.61
15-25 19.94
25 & above 21.49
Average 21.17
Karnal (Haryana) 1968-69
Below 5 acres 25.59
5-10 25.29
10-20 28.45
20-30 25.39
30-40 34.58
40-50 31.22
50 & above 29.64
Average 28.35

Table 2.7 (cont'd). P.E.O. Studies.

Yield (a/ha)
Size Groups 1967-68 1968-69
Below 2.5 acres 23.64 22.90
2.5-5 22.70 19.27
5-10 23.91 20.08
10-20 24.72 25.19
20-50 28.21 25.74
50 & above 31.10 26.16
Average 26.55 24.63

Table 2.7 (cont'd). I.A.D.P. Study, 1967-68.

Size Groups Yield (q/ha)
Below 2 hectares 30.05
2-4 25.98
5 & above 26.06
Average 26.52


Table 2.8. Percentage of area under irrigation by size of operational holding groups.

Size Group *
15 &
Name of Study Year Participant 0-1 1-3 3-5 5-10 10-15 above Total

A.E.R.C. Studies
1. Faizabad (U.P.)

2. Karnal (Haryana)

3. Amritsar (Punjab)

4. Saharanpur (U.P.)

5. Tikamgarh (M.P.)

6. Kota (Rajasthan)

7. Bijapur (Mysore)

Farm Management Studies
1. Ferozepur (Punjab)

1968-69 P

1967-68 P




1967-68 P

1967-68 Mexican

2. Muzaffarnagar (U.P.) 1966-67

P = Participants in HYV programme. NP = Non-participants in HYV p
*Acres, unless otherwise noted.

38.8 29.6 31.2 25.9
32.3 26.3 33.5 23.8

23.9 32.4 28.6
- 28.3

0-5 5-10 10-15 15-25 25-50 50-75 75-100 100-200 Total
100 100 94 94 97 100 93 100 97

45 &
5-10 10-15 15-20 20-25 25-30 30-45 above Total
52.4 51.1 52.5 57.0 48.0 47.1 47.4 49.3

Below 50 &
5 5-10 10-15 15-20 20-25 25-50 above Total
96 92 95 90 97 90
81 97 97 91 100 100 -


Below 60 &
5 5-10 10-15 15-20 20-30 30-40 40-60 above Total
96.0 60.6 64.0 76.5 56.6 73.0 36.0 44.5 58.8

Below 75 &
10 10-20 20-30 30-50 50-75 above Average
83.3 37.4 28.2 25.1 22.5 10.6 23.4
4.9 9.2 2.0 4.0 5.2 5.1

Size group
Below 24 &
6 6-9 9-14 14-24 above Overall

40.3 52.3 52.3 32.0 57.0 52.6
23.4 20.0 21.3 22.0 20.0 21.3

Below 288 4.72- 6.97- 10.66 &
2.87ha. 4.71 6.96 10.65 above Overall
79.8 81.6 86.1 81.4 88.3 84.7
90.7 96.0 93.0 87.1 99.3 93.8
94.1 100 99 1 97.7 100 97.1
88.2 92.5 92.8 86.4 95.57 91.9


-------- ---------

Table 2.9. Total cash Expenditure and Expenditure on Fertiliser.
P.E.O. Study 1967-68 (rupees per acre).

Size Group Total Expenses Fertilisers
(acres) H.Y. Holding Other Holding H.Y. Holding Other Holding
Less than 2.5 202 28 82 11
2.5-5 215 24 66 7
5-10 227 33 83 9
10-20 215 28 82 7
20-50 270 36 102 9
50 & above 281 45 111 10
All Farmers 244 34 92 8

example, households of the Northern region achieved
average output level of Rs. 1,004 per acre. The correspond-
ing figures for Central region are Rs. 506 and for Southern
region Rs. 148.
In two brief trips through two of the principal districts
of the Punjab in early 1969, Ladejinsky observed that the
tubewells were the core of the agricultural transformation
of the State. Their number increased from 7,500 in 1960-
61 to 110,000 in 1968-69. A tubewell and "miracle"
seed and fertilizer stand for 20 to 24 quintals of wheat to
an acre. In another field trip through Purnea and Saharsa
districts (in Bihar) the same author observed that there
were areas in these districts where next to the uncertain
rainfall there was hardly any other source of irrigation.
Even there wherever limited irrigation facilities existed
modernised agriculture was centred, "of necessity at a
reduced tempo; better but not upto standard quality
seed; only slightly more than a third of the prescribed
fertilizer dosage, a token of pesticides, and so on" [20].
In practically all the studies conducted by the AERCs,
adopters are found to have a higher proportion of their
land under irrigation than non-adopters, indicating that the
access to irrigation has an important influence on adoption
behaviour. For example, the Kota study of 1971-72
brought out that the proportion of adopters among large
farmers was more, and the cause of low adoption on small
farms was lack of irrigation facility on many small farms.
Barbara Hariss also observed direct correlation between
extension of irrigation facilities and increase in the rate of
adoption of the HYV programme. According to her,
although effects of irrigation on production benefits have
been over-estimated, the participating farmers value its role
in minimising weather risks [12]. In a series of interviews,
she found that doubt about the availability of adequate
irrigation was one of the important reasons preventing non-
participants from using the improved inputs.
Similarly, Blackenburg, in his study of progressive farmers
in the Punjab and Mysore observed that the adoption of new
technology was strongly influenced by the availability of
irrigation facilities. There was no progressive farmer in the
sample areas who cultivated only dry land [6].
Lack of irrigation facilities have deterred small farmers
in Southern Rajasthan to adopt new technology. A study
conducted by Vidya Bhavan Rural Institute, surveying the
spread of high-yielding varieties of seeds in Udaipur region,

concluded that one of the reasons for the reluctance of
farmers to take-up the HYV wheat cultivation was their
belief that the failure of rains inflicted more damage to
fields sown with the HYV, and this scared many small
farmers who did not have their own irrigation facilities
[46j. Acharya's study in the same area revealed that most
of the adopters were large farmers and had their own
pumping-sats for irrigation [1J.
Larger costs: The increase in incomes from HYV
wheat can be directly attributed to larger usage of modern
inputs. From the available studies, it is clear that the per
hectare cost of cultivation is significantly larger in the case of
the HYV wheat compared to that of local varieties. This is
evidenced from the AERC's studies (See Table 2.9).
Significant difference in the cost3 per hectare have also
been revealed by the Farm Management Studies. While
the total cost (on per hectare basis) in the case of the
HYV wheat in Muzaffarnagar was Rs. 1,413.00 that in the
case of local wheat was Rs. 1268.00. The corresponding
figures for Ferozepur district were Rs. 1,596.85 for HYV
wheat, and Rs. 1192.40 for local wheat [18& 44]. Thus,
while HYV wheats produce more income than deshi wheat
under most of the circumstances, large increases in incomes
from the HYV can be directly attributed to larger usages of
modern inputs.
Itwasestimated by Bhalla in his Haryana study that with
one acre increase in operational area, the progressive cultiva-

Table 2.9 (cont'd). Farm Management Studies (rupees
per hectare).
Size Group Total Cash
Expenditure Fertiliser
Forozepur (Punjab) 1968-69 to 1969-70
0-6 acres 531 92
6-9 467 105
9-14 504 115
14-24 519 120
24 & above 442 130
All sizes 482 114
Muzaffarnagar (U.P.) 1966-67 to 1968-69
0-2.87 hectares 334 62
2.88-4.71 299 44
4.72-6.96 311 42
6.97-10.65 279 41
10.66 & above 258 54
All sizes 282 40

Table 2.9 (cont'd). A.E.R.C. Studies (Rupees per acre)

Size Groups


Expenditure on Fertiliser
Kalyan Deshi
S-227 S-64 Sona P NP

PV-18 LR 5-64
Amritsar (Punjab) 1967-68
0-5 218 176 390
5-10 228 157 124
10-15 127 142 103
15-20 203 144 -
20-25 139 152 120
25-35 207 171 130
35-45 156 66 212
45 & above 178 136 182

Kalyan varieties Desi

463 131
155 116
744 104
761 192
861 122
437 124

Kalyan PV- 18 (Sonalika) Desi
Amritsar (Punjab) 1968-69
Below 5 297 303 333 154
5-10 279 267 357 163
10-15 285 233 271 136
15-20 294 256 321 194
20-25 358 387 420 -
25-35 301 281 295 91
35-45 352 296 395 117
45-60 309 296 335
60-75 273 285 272
Above 75 277 267 294 -
Average 304 278 327 146

Kota (Rajasthan) 1968-69
0-15 74
15-40 72
40 & above 128
Average 91

Kota (Rajasthan) 1971-72
0-5 52
5-10 61
10-15 95
15-20 129
20-30 130
30-40 97
40-60 126
60 & above 85
Average 98

68 116
82 167
61 163

S-308 S-227
LR (Sonalika) (K.S. Sib)


Saharanpur (U.P. )1968-69
Below 5 143 216 -136
5-10 210 244 278 157
10-15 205 305 286 181
15-25 166 259 286 157
25 & above 174 249 224 188
Average 180 258 253 167

Fertiliser expenditure on

R-18 LR S-64
Amritsar 1967-68
0-5 55 73 45
5-10 55 73 45
10-15 158 92 48
15-20 64 89 38
20-25 110 90
25-30 83 70 67
30-45 109 102 66
45 & above 104 25 84
Average 103 72 72

Kalyan varieties

Participants Cash Expenditure
Mexican Desi Wheat
Wheat (irrigated)
Bijapur (Mysore) 1967-68
Upto 10 399 277
10-20 462 281
20-30 556 120
30-50 460 185
50-75 347 121
75 & above 261 148
Average 412 166


Amritsar 1968-69
Below 5 112 108 91 36
5-10 92 77 91 44
10-15 93 93 104 25
15-20 93 104 124 102
20-25 114 108 122
25-35 120 117 114 43
35-45 138 130 165 57
45-60 130 148 132
60-75 124 145 130
75 & above 107 1.05 110
Average 117 113 131 46

HYV wheat Desi
S-64 S-277 sona P NP
Kota (Rajasthan) 1968-69
0-15 110 138 53 34
15-40 127 140 333 69 51
40 & above 165 294 427 116 112
All farmers 121 219 432 83 51

Sona Kalyan *
Kota (Rajasthan) 1971-72
Below 5 254
5-10 293
10-15 303
15-20 331
20-30 379
30-40 307
40-60 390
60 & above 350
Average 327

Cash Expenditure
Mexican HY V Desi
Saharanpur (U.P.) 1967-68
0-5 -
5-10 210 141 97
10-15 154 117 101
15-20 222 136 93
20-25 204 171 103
25-50 252 131 119
50 & above 168 159 106
STotal 197 147 107

Expenditure on fertilizer

Mexican HYV



Saharanpur (U.P.) 1967-68
0-5 --
5-10 121 70 36 19
10-15 50 39 20
15-20 99 50 37 -
20-25 123 94 37
25-50 161 48 48
50 & above 87 84 39
Average 107 62 42 14

S-308 S-227
LR (Sonalika) (K.S. Sib) 591
Saharanpur (U.P.) 1968-69
Below 5 35 69 27
5-10 73 90 114 46
10-15 63 85 84 57
15-25 50 61 82 47
25 & above 49 95 75 64
Average 55 86 82 50

Expenditure on Fertiliser
Mexican Desi (irrigated)
Bijapor (Mysore) 1967-68
Upto 10 129 82
10-20 162 67
20-30 161 25
30-50 152 48
50-75 137 47
75 & above 108 8
Average 146 45


Faizabad (U.P.)
15 & above


*Cost A2: Cash expenditure is approximately three/fourth of cost A2.

Fertiliser Expenditure on
Kalyan PV-18 S-308


iois, i.e., those cultiviatin!I the HYV, incurred an a(ld(ito()al
expenditure of Rs. 197.80 compared woth an expendliture
of only Rs. 80 by the non-progressive cultivators. The in-
crease in the material cost by the adopters is mainly
attributable to more intensive application of inputs-like
new seeds, chemical fertilisers, insecticides, pesticides and
more irrigations (5j.
Larger cash component: Apart from the level of
inputs used, another significant difference is a much larger
cash component in the cost of production of HYV. While in
the case of local wheat, the cultivators spend more than
50 per cent of the total cost on traditional, mostly owned
inputs, such as human labour and bullock labour, for
HYV wheat share of modern, and basically purchased,
inputs is significantly larger. In the case of Haryana, for
example, the level of material costs, i.e., expenditure on
material inputs and hired labour, was larger to the tune of
nearly Rs. 200 per acre in the case of progressive farms
adopting high-yielding varieties compared to those who
were cultivating the traditional varieties. According to the
same study, the progressive cultivators used Rs. 142.8
worth of additional fertilisers with an increase of one acre
of operational area. The figure for non-progressive cultiva-
tors was only Rs. 12.40 150].
Similar evidence is produced by the PEO study according
to which cash expenditure on an acre devoted to HYV
wheat was substantially larger than that incurred on non-
HYV areas. This was brought out by comparing per acre
cash expenditure on HYV wheat with that for the entire
farm. Actually total farm expenditure figures include costs
on the HYV and if these were excluded, the difference
would be much more substantial 123j.
According to Chourasia and Singh, the per acre cost of
cultivation of the local and HYV wheats was Rs. 267 and
Rs. 499 respectively. The HYV wheat had 86.84 per cent
higher expenses over the local varieties. Considering the
operational costs alone, the HYV utilized 90.35 per cent
higher operative expenses than the local varieties, mainly
due to higher expenditure on fertilisers and manures 18j.
According to the Cost of Cultivation Survey in the
Punjab and Haryana, where more than 90 per cent of the
area under wheat of the sample farmer was already under
HYV, the biggest items in the operational cost were
expenditure on hired human labour and fertilisers and
manures. The fertilisers alone accounted for nearly 12.6
per cent of the total cost based on a comprehensive defini-
tion of costs. Similar conclusions can be derived from the
composition of costs as given in the Farm Management
Surveys of Muzaffarnagar (in Uttar Pradesh) and Ferozepur
(in the Punjab) (See Table 2.10 and 2.11 below).
The superiority of Mexican varieties over the local
variety stems, as noted earlier, from their capacity to
withstand much higher doses of chemical fertilisers without
lodging. While the Mexican varieties show an average res-
ponse ratio of 8 to 9 kg. with an additional application of a
kg. of nitrogen upto 50 to 60 kg., the fertilizer response
ratio of local varieties is roughly 1:10, with yields declining

alte: ain a)pplication ol about 20 to 2b k(|. )pe a;ct:. Thi,
explains higher dosages ol lertilisers on HYV areas.4
Apart from fertilizer, the other important item of
expenditure on HYV farms is human labour, particularly
the expenditure on hired labour. More labour intensive
method of sowing, larger application of fertilisers and the
generally high standard of husbandry coupled with larger
output to be harvested and threshed means higher employ-
ment of labour-at least till the labour displacing machine-
ry appears on the scene.
Shah and Ali's study of Uttar Pradesh suggest that the
expenses on human labour on the small and the medium
farms were nearly equal. For large and very large farms,
they increased with the size of holding. The expenditure on
modern inputs consisting of HYV seed, irrigation and
fertilizer was nearly the same on small and medium 'arms,
but was higher on large and very large farms. The expenditu-
re on animal labour fell with the rise in the size group,
indicating an increasing use of tractors for land prepara-
tions. Consequently the expenditure on machinery rose
with the increase in the size of holdings [40j.
According to Chourasia and Singh, the material cost was
about one and half time that in the case of the HYV as
compared to that in the cultivation of the local varieties.
The details of operating costs from the same study show
that the HYV were more labour intensive than the local
varieties. The per acre human labour required were 61 and
41 man days on the HYV and local varieties respectively
In the Haryana study, cited above, a regression equation
of paid out labour costs on the progressive, i.e., those
adopting the HYV, and non-progressive farmers indicated
that hired labour cost of the progressive farmers was
significantly higher than that for the non-progressive
cultivators. For each additional acre of operational
area, the progressive cultivators spent Rs. 81.90 on hired
labour compared with only Rs. 29.80 spent by the non-
progressive cultivators [5j.
The larger operational cost, most of which is constituted
by the cash inputs, puts serious constraint on the intensive
use of inputs by those who do not have either their own
saving funds or any easy access to credit. In fact, these
handicaps explains more than any other factor the difference
between the range of income obtained by different groups
of adopters.
Credit: With a heavy cash component in a substantially
enlarged cost base, the availability of credit becomes an
important consideration in adoption of the HYV. To the
extent the organised credit, particularly from cooperatives
is cheaper, cultivator's preference will be on this source of
supply, that is, if they can avail of credit facilities from
these institutions. Though cooperative credit has lower
interest rates and longer pay back periods than other forms
of credits, but credit worthiness is judged by short-term
repayment capacity and even though the Government
policy is that credit should be based on harvest expectation,
land is the collateral for advancing loans. Also, credit is

'xlin(l:dl to HYV iprlitcipants and 1on1 pai licipants on a
uniloim scale regardless of theit operating at different
levels of risks and with different capacities to repay loans
within a given time.
In spite of these limitations, most of the investigations
have revealed a larger dependence of HYV growers on
cooperative and other institutional credit. It was shown in
the PEO studies that all the adopting farmers would like
to have cooperative credit, but owing to a shortage of
supply, mismanagement or political factor entering into
loans disbursement, only a small proportion of farms were
able to obtain loans from this source. In the areas studied
by the PEO, there was a positive relationship between the
proportion of farmers who were members of the cooperati-
ves and the farm size. This means that the larger farmers
were able to have access to cheaper source of credit. For
example, the AERC study in Kota exhibited that of the total
operational cost large farmers financed proportionately high-
er percentage from credit societies; reverse was true for the
small farmers. It was explained that such outcome was a

Table 2. 10. Per hectare cost o
Haryana (in 1970-71).

result of the biased policies of the cooperatives which were
dominated by large farmers 13]. In some areas, it seems
that a few small farms could also succeed in obtaining
cooperative credit-and those who had, met a high pro-
portion of their cash expenditure from this source. Among
the small farmers it is these farmers who have adopted
new varieties [23].
In the areas where the HYV have succeeded, the clas-
sical case being that of Ludhiana district in the Punjab,
the cooperative system has shown much greater resilence.
According to the IADP study of this district, by 1969 all
the villages were covered by cooperatives and 96 per cent of
the farmers in the district were members of the cooperatives.
Crop loan system was introduced in the district in 1966-67
which lessened the constraints imposed by the require-
ment of tangible security, mostly land, on the borrowers.
Tenant cultivators were also made eligible for coopera-
tive loans. The proportion of cultivators who availed of
credit facilities increased in all the size groups, nearly 60
per cent or more of the farmers of all size groups took

f cultivation of wheat in Punjab and

Cost Items
Operational cost
Human labour

Bullock labour

Machine labour
Fertiliser and manure

Irrigation charges
Interest on Working Capital

Fixed Cost

Rs. per




of total cost



Rs. per



of total cost



1.29 40.68
3.01 39.75
4.30 80.43
7.65 65.35

111.09 8.78 208.60 12.61
4.48 0 35 10.48 0.63
115.57 9.13 219.08 13.24

0.41 0.02
109.60 8.66 71.95 4.35
15.62 1.23 18.62 1.13

472.36 37.34 727.60 43.98

Rental value of owned land 301.35 23.82
Rent paid for leased-in land 11.45 0.91
Land revenue, cesses and taxes 3.17 0.25
Depreciation on Implements and
Farm Buildings 63.99 5.06
Interest on Fixed Capital 92.40 7.30
Total Cost 1,265.12 100





Source: Comprehensive cost of cultivation studies, op. cit.
Note: More than 90 per cent of the area covered in the sample was sown HYV

Table 2. 11. Per hectare cost of cultivation of HYV wheat in Punjab (average

for the years 1967-68 to
to 1968-69).

1969-70) and U.P. (average for the years 1966-67

Hired human labour
Bullock labour
Machine labour
Fertilisers and manure
Interest on working capital
Land revenue, cess, etc.
Rent paid
Rental value
Interest on fixed capital
Family labour

Total Cost C

1967-68 to 1969-70
Rs./ of total
ha. cost



1966-67 to 1968-69

Rs./ of total
ha. cost



1596.85 100 1413 100 100

Source: Farm Management Studies of Punjab and U.P. opp. cit.

loans from the cooperatives. The average loan taken per
hectare of cultivated area was the highest for the medium
cultivators having holdings between two to four hectares.
It increased in their cases from Rs. 74 per hectare in 1962-
63 to Rs. 147 per hectare in 1967-68. For small farmers,
having less than two hectares, the amount of loan increased
from Rs. 59 per hectare to Rs. 101 during the same period
In contrast, a study of the credit structure in Purnea
and Saharsa districts shows that Government taccavi loans
accounted for 17.8 per cent of the total credit advance.
Cooperatives lent 13 per cent and money-lenders 67.6 per
cent. The commercial banks advances were of negiligible
order of 1.6 per cent. Taccavi and commercial bank loans
were mainly to large farmers with 15 to 20 acres of hold-
ings. Cooperative loans went mainly to farmers with 10
to 15 acres of holdings and loans from money-lenders
went mainly to farmers with less than 10 acres, in particu-
lar to farmers with very small holdings. Such loans, how-
ever, do not seem to have been spent on fertilizer or for any
other developmental purposes. On such loans the interest
rates are quite high. If a farmer gets such loans for the
purpose of fertilisers, he pays, in effect 70 to 80 per cent
more than the normal cost. Naturally the credit facilities
in these areas were not conducive to optimum utilisation of
fertilisers and other modern inputs [20].
According to another sutdy in the same area, the
percentage of agricultural households in Purnea not using
the HYV was 68 to 69. Lack of resources to invest in
better practices and failure of credit facilities to fill the
gap were the main explanations for the low rate of adop-

tion. In this district cultivable holdings of five acres and
less accounted for 52 per cent of the investigated house-
holds and 74 per cent possesed holdings of less than 7.5
acres. Such holdings found it difficult to acquire institu-
tional loans. Therefore, the HYV even with its greater
profitability is hardly of any practical consequence to
them [20].
Even in the Punjab, as the study of Jullundur district
shows, for small farmers who had only one or two acres,
credit was not integrated with inputs. Seeds and fertilisers
were sold on cash basis much before the sowing season
(i.e. in October) while the credit facilities were extended
only in January [11]. Practically, all the AERC studies
have brought out the difficulties of obtaining credit,
especially by the small farmers. It seems that because of
the rigid loaning practices, credit has not acted as an
incentive to innovate.
Tenancy: Another major handicap in the extension of
new varieties could be the extent of tenancy. But in fact,
in most of the cases, tenancy has not proved to be a
handicap for the acceptance of new varieties. In many
areas, the reverse seems to be the case. Blackenburg
observed, from his study of the Punjab, an association
between frequency of tenancy and progressiveness. Average
farmers have significantly less proportion of leased-in land
(i.e. 46 per cent) compared to the progressive or the
improved farmers (65 to 67 per cent) [6]. Mishra and
Ryagi, in their study of Kota district of Rajasthan, found
that the percentage of owners-cum-tenants was more among
the adopters than among the non-adopters. Conversely
pure-owners were in larger proportion among the adopters,



e.g., 77.5 per cent compared to 60.0 per cent among the
adopters [26]. In another study, by Mukherjee, no
significant difference was observed as between the perform-
ance of the owners and tenants. If anything, it appeared
that the terant farmers had used on an average more
fertilisers per hectare than the owners 130j.
On the basis of the PEO data, Mukherjee concluded that
the rate of adoption is not significantly different between
owner and tenant farmers. It is logical to assume that in
the initial years of the programme, it will be the more
innovative and enterprising farmers, who will come forward.
By and by, others will join. When then differential response
will be more significant as between big, middle and small
farmers and not so much between owners and tenants [23].
This is because of the high potential that the new seeds
have for achieving substantial higher yields which can
more than compensate for the onerous terms of tenancyS
[31]. Commenting on Mukherjee's paper, Parthasarthy
and Harnath Babu maintain that it is necessary to distin-
guish between two types of tenancies-pure tenancy and
owner tenancy. Several studies show that owners-cum-
tenants perform better in many respects, e.g., use of
fertilisers, agricultural investment, etc. than pure owners or
pure tenants [33].
Literacy: The other reported handicap, viz., illiteracy,
again does not seen to be such a deterrent for the adop-
tion of new varieties. In Karnal district, according to an
AERC study, of the 60 adopters, 52 per cent were illiterate,
20 per cent educated upto primary level and 28 per cent
upto middle level. In a relatively more progressive Kosi
area (of Bihar) literacy rate was below the already low state
average of 15 per cent [20j. It appears that at an early
stage of agricultural revolution, literacy is not as crucial a
variable as one might have been led to believe. This is
mainly because in the initiation into the new technology or
in subsequent experimentation with the level of inputs,
the written word plays a minor role. The role of neigh-
bours, relatives and opinion leaders is any time more import-
ant [12]. The weight of the evidence suggests that while
the early adopters are relatively more literate, these who
follow rely more on observation and spoken word. Besides,
role that the radio broadcasts have played in the extension
of HYV is also remarkable.


Due to different coverage, concepts and methodolo-
gies used in the studies reviewed above, it is difficult
to arrive at firm assessment of the HYV programme as it
operates at the field level. However, certain tentative
inferences can be advanced. These should be considered
more in the nature of hypotheses rather than empirically
verified and tested results.
From available literature it is clear that the main reason
for rapid adoption of new varieties of wheat is the higher
net income that is expected from their adoption. The basic

reason for larger profitability is not so much the difference
in the unit cost as the larger output with the application of
modern inputs. As a result, the overall differences from
raising new varieties on a hectare of land are demonstrably
larger than that obtained from growing local varieties. The
very nature of response of new varieties to the use of modern
inputs results in a wide range of incomes among the adopt-
ers, depending mainly on the level of use of these inputs.
Larger cash resources used to grow high-yielding varie-
ties on the one hand and risk which is implicit in the
adoption of any new practices on the other makes it almost
inevitable that only those who have their own savings or an
easy access to borrowed funds should be the early adopt-
ers. In the Indian context, it is the farmers owning or
operating large holdings who quality for this purpose. The
weight of evidence suggests, though it does not prove
conclusively, that not only large farmers were early adopt-
ers and in any given year they constituted larger proportion
among the adopters, but they also seem to have devoted
proportionately larger extent of their wheat areas under
HYV. And finally, per acre returns obtained from HYV
on the large farms seem to be higher than that obtained
on the small farms.
The reasons for an advantageous position enjoyed by the
large farmers are imbedded in the nature of HYV technolo-
gy. Although this technology is not so much dependent on
the indivisible inputs, like tractors or machines, it does
make investment in these machines and particularly in a
tubewell quite remunerative. Therefore, in areas where
custom service of machines is not in vogue, high-yielding
varieties programme concentrates on the farms of larger
cultivators who can afford to have these machines on their
own. More important than the indivisible assets, it is
irrigation which is the crucial determinant in the adoption
of new technology. The paucity of resources to invest in
irrigation is overcome in areas where public irrigation system
exists. However, even in these areas a supplementary source
of irrigation, viz., a tubewell, compounds the returns from
the adoption of new technology. The magnitude of
operational costs and a larger cash component in the total
cost favours those who have their own liquid resources or
access to easy sources of credit. In fact, the availability of
cheap credit comes out as one of the key factors in
determining returns from the adoption of new technology.
Fortunately, tenancy and illiteracy do not seem to be
unsurmountable handicaps for those who want to adopt
new technology. In the case of the former, high returns
from the adoption of HYV can compensate even the onerous
terms on which the tenancy is contracted apart from the fact
that the tenants are not necessarily the poorest aming the
cultivators. The second disability is not a major hurdle
as in a traditional rural society the importance of oral
communications is far greater than that of the written
Because of the limitations cited earlier, the small
farmers have been able to avail of the superior technology
only upto a limited extent. The root of most of their

problems lies in the non-availability of the public infrastruc-
ture and in the functioning of the factor markets. It is
principally to these issues that the policy makers will have
to address themselves along with some other issues which
will be referred to in the following section.


1. In a private communication, Anderson explains "Since Ludhiana
has about the poorest soils in India and Shahabad has about the
best, the differences are even more striking. However, in the
early period, wheat was being multiple-cropped with rice in
Shahabad leading to poor seed bed and soil structure, whereas the
sandy soil of Ludhiana being unsuitable for paddy did not present


A number of carefully conducted studies and a reasonably
good statistical reporting system enable one to have broad
ideas about the performance of high-yielding varieties of
wheat in India. In the previous section, we have mentioned
some of the handicaps which inhibit fuller extension of
new varieties in the country. On the basis of this discussion,
certain lines for further action are indicated.
Varietal Improvement: The instrinsic superiority of the
Mexican varieties and the adaptive research conducted in
India have resulted in a number of new varieties which
have clear advantages over the local varieties. However,
the very fact that practically all these are derived from
one stock, puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to
fighting the host of likely pests and diseases. Sometimes
a fear is expressed that if some types of rusts were to
attack these varieties for which the resistance is not built,
the whole crop of wheat from Punjab to West Bengal can
be destroyed in an indiscriminate manner. That this fear is
not altogether hypothetical is proven by the fact that in
this year (1973) there is a suspicion that some rusts to
which Ih present stock is not immune have attacked and
da.imaged II1 yield potenliail in the Punjab and Haryana.
Wlether this yeia's srllgiidtion in yield is only a temporary
phenomenon-may be due to moisture stress at the time of
ripening-or it is something more serious is yet to be
ascertained. In any case, the varietal research will have to
continue to have a major emphasis on building resistance
against the likely damages.
The prevalence of nearly nine varieties in a more or less
homogenous tract, that the wheat growing regions are,


this difficulty. The shorter season in Shahabad also accounts for
lower yields."

2. However, it was noted in the same study that in case of bajra,
paddy, maize and jowar, proportion of acreage under the new
varieties is unrelated to the size of farm.

3. For definitions of costs see Table 2.3. The total cost used in
this text refers to cost C of the Farm Management Studies.

4. There is also evidence showing that HYV's are more responsive
than local varieties even up to 20-25 kilos of nitrogen per hectare.
See, e.g., I.J. Singh and K.C. Sharma, "Production Functions and
Economic Optima in Fertiliser Use for Some Dwarf and Tall
Varieties of Wheat," Research Bulletin No. 5, February, 1969,
College of Agriculture, Pantnagar.

5. The changing role of tenancy in the progressive areas is discussed
in greater detail by this author.

suggests that more local research is needed to adapt new
varieties to the specific environment. Since different varie-
ties have different attributes in regard to dates of sowing,
duration of maturity, initial and optimum response to
inputs, resistance to pests and diseases, etc., there is a
need, first, to understand these qualities at the field level
and, later on to extend the varieties in a more discrimina-
tive manner. There is therefore a need for a more careful
release policy. Besides, an organised seed industry, supply-
ing high quality seeds suitable for different locations can
give a definite fillip to movement.
An important development in the recent years is that
new wheat varieties are spreading in areas which are
traditionally rice growing areas. Also, in the traditionally
wheat growing areas in kharif, i.e., the wet season, increasing-
ly HYV paddy are sown. Since HYV paddy matures late,
sowing period of wheat is also postponed, sometimes by a
fortnight to three weeks. This has apparently affected the
yields from new varieties. Since this tendency is likely to
continue and gain strength, it is necessary that suitable
adaptations.are made both in paddy and wheat varieties so
that they can be dovetailed in a rotation which is more
economic from an overall point of view.
Inadequate Use of Inputs: The wide range in input ap-
plication, particularly fertilisers, and lack of standardisa-
tion of agronomic practices have made many people com-
ment that what we have obtained in this country is a
varietal revolution rather than a technological revolution.
The idea of a "package of inputs" which was sought to be
popularised from the early 1960's has not yet found a

general acceptance at the field level. There are innumerable
combinations and permutations of different inputs on
individual farms. Some such differences are bound to
exist and may be even economically justified. But the main
reason for this diversity is the lack of knowledge or incapa-
city to produce adequate quantities of difference inputs.
This suggests that the task before the extension workers
is not to bring out "one package" of optimum doses but a
number of combinations approximating to the optimum
dosages, as well as to evolve various combinations of inputs
for different levels of cost and returns. It is true that too
numerous or too complicated recommendations are likely
to confuse the farmers. Yet a few well-thoughtout choices
rather than a package has a greater merit.
Importance of public infra-structure: If there is one
single lesson to be learnt from the success of HYV program-
me in wheat in India, it is the role that the public infra-
structure, particularly irrigation, transport and power,
plays in the extension of new technology. Without any
exception, the areas where these facilities were adequate
were the first to adopt new technology. Also, it is only in
these areas that irrespective of owned resources everyone
could avail of the benefits accruing from the adoption of
new varieties. In fact, the more meagre the resource base of
individual cultivators, the greater are likely to be the gains,
both private and social, from the investment in public
infrastructure. The policy makers in this country and
countries similarly placed will have to carefully assess
the returns from resources invested in creating these
facilities as against the returns from the same amount of
resources, invested in either subsidising the inputs or paying
higher prices for the output. On a priori ground, the
investment in public infra-structure is likely to yield larger
Reducing institutional handicaps: Since the returns from
new varieties are notably higher even after paying rents on
leased-in land, these varieties can spread alike on tenant
and the owner operated farms. However, this does not mean
that the new technology can overcome all the institutional
hurdles or inequities in the relationship in land. In areas
where the relationship is particularly exploitative even with
the availability of public infra-structure, new varieties have
not succeeded (e.g. in Kosi project area of Bihar) [49j.
Institutional handicap of another type plagues the small
farmers more seriously. And this is the functioning of the

markets for inputs, particularly credit. Here too, it is
not the dearth of the institutions but the procedures and
policies followed which come in the way of realising the
stated objectives. For example, a mammoth cooperative
structure is created and supported by public policy to
provide credit and other facilities to all sections of cultiva-
tors, particularly to the small farmers. But in effect this
has not happened. The security oriented credit policy,
procedural tangles and, the extent power equation in the
country-side compromise the effectiveness of these institu-
tions. What applies to credit also applies, more or less, to
other inputs, particularly those which are in short supply.
Whenever any input is in short supply the larger farmer
pre-empts the available quantities. This is inspite of the
declared objectives of giving an equitable share in all scarce
inputs to the smaller farmers.
It does not follow that only a new set of institutions
specifically created for the small farmers can benefit them.
In a country where the small farmers constitute the majori-
ty, the existing institutions can also be made to work for
their benefit provided that the small farmers can be organis-
ed to avail of the facilities which are essentially meant for
them. The farmers' organisation should aim at not only a
fair share in the subsidized or the scarce inputs but also at
maximising returns from individual inputs. There is a
scope, rather a necessity, for a great variety of organisation-
al innovations for ensuring collective action by the small
and the weak. Very little is known about the nature and
form of collective efforts which in many circumstances can
be an effective substitute for individually owned assets
and resources.
From all available accounts, HYV programme in India so
far has been mainly confined to what might be called
progressive areas. Even in these areas, some of the
problems mentioned above, have been coming to the fore.
If the momentum of the programme is to be sustained,
it will have to be extended to relatively backward areas
where the handicaps narrated above will be all the- more
intractable. It is necessary, therefore, at this stage to take
stock of things, identify the problem areas, appraise
various alternatives and define a set of consistent policy
measures which can continue the spread of this indeed very
remarkable technology which promises to contribute to-
wards production and, if suitably oriented, also towards
the social justice.

Appendix Information on Scope & Methods of the Evaluation Studies.

Size of sample Costs concepts,
Reference Sample No. of No. of used for deriva-
Study Conducted by District State years Design villages farmers tion of income

AERC Studies
A study of High Yieiding
Varieties programme ,i
the Kota District
(Rabi 1968-69)

2) Economic & Social
Implications of Green
Revolution, A Case Study
of the Kota District.

3) Evaluation of the High
Yielding Varieties Pro-
gramme-Rabi 1968-69-
A Study of Mexican wheat
in Karnal District (Haryana)

4) Economics of High
Yielding Wheat in Punjab
(Special reference to
Amritsar District)

5) Report on HYVP in
Saharanpur Dist. (U.P.)
Rabi 1968-69 (with re-
ference to Mexican wheat)

6) The social & economic
implications of the large
Scale Introduction of
of High Yielding Varieties
of wheat in Haryana (the
UNDP Global Project)











Rajasthan 1968-69

Rajasthan 1971-72



Saharanpur U.P.







Good blocks
and villages
were selected.
In each village
stratified samp-
ling of partici-
pants and non-
participants of
Good blocks
and villages
were selected.
In each village
stratified samp-
ling of partici-
pants and non-
participants of
Multi-stage stra-
tified sampling.
The ultimate unit
was participant

Multi-stage strati- 10
fled random samp-
ling. Five blocks
were selected.

Two good blocks 4
and two good vil-
lage, selected. In each
village stratified sample of
participants was taken.

Good district was 3
selected. Three vil-
lages studied earlier
were selected. Stra-
tified sampling at
the farm level.

Cash and kind
expenditure (equi-
valent to Cost
A2 in Farm Ma-
nagement Studies).

Cash and kind
expenditure (equi-
valent to Cost
A2 in Farm Ma-
nagement Studies).

Expenditure on seed,
farm yard manure,
fertilisers, pesticides,
irrigation only were

Variable expenditure,
This includes seeds,
fertilisers, irrigation
charges, labour char-
ges (e.g. FYM, pesti-
The inputs taken into
account were, seeds,
chemical fertilisers,
farmyard manures,
pesticides, irrigation,
land revenue and
human labour.
Direct cost was used
which included labour,
kind rent, fertilisers
seeds, irrigation
charges etc.

Appendix continued.

7) Study of High yielding
varieties programme in
Mysore (Rabi: 1967-68).
Mexican wheat in Bijapur

PEO Studies:
1) Evaluation study of
High-Yielding varieties
Programme-Report for
the Rabi, 1968-69-
wheat, Paddy & Jowar

2) Evaluation of High
Yielding Varieties Pro-
gramme: Report for
the Rabi; 1968-69-
wheat, Paddy & Jowar

Inst. of
& Politics,

Govt. of
India, New



Different dis
tricts in the
selected States












Purposive Selec- 4
tion of talukas.
Villages strati-
fied random samp-
ling of farmers.

Six stratified and 45
15 sample blocks
(Multi-stage strati-
fied sampling)

Multi-stage stra-
tified sampling,
Selection of Farm
by systematic

441 (P)

Cash expenditure on
seed, manures & ferti-
liser, land revenue
human labour and
bullock labour.

Cash expenditure, ma-
terial inputs, such as
seed, fertilisers, pesti-
cides etc.

Cash expenditure, ma-
terial inputs, such as
seed, fertilisers, pesti-
cides, etc.

Besti U.P. -
Muzaffarnagar U.P.
Aligarh U.P.
Saharanpur U.P.
Sirapur U.P.
Allahabad U.P.


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