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Contributor(s): Peter Howlett, Aashish Velkar

Released on 10 March 2010

Independent of British rule, the Indian economy expanded rapidly - but as the population also expanded, fears grew that the land would not be able to feed the rising numbers. The government took action and, during the 1960s, 70s, and into the 80s, impending famine was successfully averted through a series of agricultural policies designed to increase crop yields. This became known as the "Green Revolution." As part of a major project investigating how well facts travel, LSE economic historians Peter Howlett| and Aashish Velkar| travelled to southern India in search of a case study to see what had made those policies so successful. But when they arrived, they found a second green revolution was underway - presenting them with a unique research opportunity. Following a team from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University|, Dr Howlett and Dr Velkar were able to study firsthand how knowledge was transmitted between policy makers, scientists, and farmers, and how a very different model was emerging - one which emphasised a two-way flow of information and which has so far produced startling results. Their findings are in a new book collected on the "How Well Do ‘Facts’ Travel?" project, due out mid 2010.

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