Agriculture Sector On The Eve Of Independence

Agriculture Sector On The Eve Of Independence. It is an acknowledged reality that more than 70% of India’s National Income is derived from its agricultural activities. Before 1947, more than 95% of the nation’s income was derived from its agricultural activities. And more than 85% of the country’s residents survived in villages where living completely relied on agriculture. The most prominent Indian sector was suffering from massive stagnation and constant degeneration. The economy on the eve of independence with regard to agriculture was demoralizing.

Consequently, the resulting circumstance of the sector was as follows:

Low Productivity Level:

Productivity and yield per hectare of the area were low. This circumstance directed to a very low yield of output regardless of the extensive farming land.

High Vulnerability Level:

Agricultural activities are reliant on climatic circumstances. Because bad rainfall usually headed to a low output level and high crop collapses. And no attempts were made by the British to abolish irrigation concerns. Therefore, making it unsafe to external factors.

Also read: Indian Industries during british rule

Mentioned below are some of the causes for the stagnation of the agricultural sector:

  • The Indian economy on the eve of independence experienced and continues to undergo the outcomes of the zamindari system. In this system, the chief focus of the landowners is to extract rent despite the economic conditions of the farmers. Therefore, leading to a stagnant agricultural sector.
  • The shortage of resources, be it financial or contrarily, is a decisive factor leading to a stagnant agricultural sector.
  • Widespread commercialization of agriculture refers to the shift from cultivating for self to cultivating for sale in the market. This has not been helpful in developing the condition of farmers due to the presence of middlemen. Hence, the stagnation or hindrance of the Indian agricultural sector.

Agricultural Sector during the Independence

agriculture sector on the eve of independence

Causes of Stagnation of Indian Agriculture During the Colonial Period

cause for stagnation of Indian agriculture during colonial period

Q.1- Explain The State Of Agriculture In India On The Eve Of Independence?


What Were The Characteristics Of Indian Agriculture On The Eve Of Independence?

(A) Explanation
  • The Indian economy was an agro-based economy on the eve of independence.
  • 75% of the Indian population was earning a livelihood from agriculture.
  • Despite being a primary source of income for a major population, this sector faced decline under British rule.
(B) State Of Agriculture On The Eve Of Independence Can Be Observed By Following Chief Characteristics:
(1) Small And Fragmented Land Holdings
  • The landholding is defined as the area of land which a person or a family owns.
  • Land holdings in India were not only small but scattered as well
  • Small and scattered land holdings were very difficult to cultivate.
(2) Use Of Outdated And Old Technology
  • At the time of independence, old and outdated methods of farming were used in the agriculture sector.
  • There was insufficient use of fertilizers and other machines etc.
(3) Dependence On Rainfall
  • Agriculture was excessively dependent upon rainfall.
  • Good rainfall implied good output, while poor rainfall implied poor output.
(4) Low Level Of Productivity And Production
  • Level of productivity i.e. output per hectare of land was extremely low.
  • Low productivity implied a low level of output, despite large area was under cultivation but due to fragmentation low output could be produced.
(5) Subsistence Farming
  • Subsistence farming is one where the primary objective of the farmer is to produce for his own family.
  • The sole aim is to produce for self-consumption or for his family rather than selling it to others to earn money.
(6) A Wedge Between Owners Of The Soil And Tillers Of The Soil
  • Owners were seldom tillers of the soil they never shared the cost of output, instead, they shared the output.
  • They were only interested in maximizing their rental income.
  • The tillers of the soil (farmers) were given very less for subsistence.
  • The consequence was backwardness and stagnation of agriculture.

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