Agriculture Sector On The Eve Of Independence

agriculture sector on the eve of independence
cause for stagnation of Indian agriculture during colonial period

Q.1- EXPLAIN THE STATE OF AGRICULTURE IN INDIA ON THE EVE OF INDEPENDENCE?

OR

WHAT WERE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE ON THE EVE OF INDEPENDENCE?

ANSWER:

(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 of 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(2) USE OF OUTDATED AND OLD TECHNOLOGY

  • At the time of independence, old and outdated methods of farming were used in the agriculture sector.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.
  • 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.
  • Consequence was backwardness and stagnation of agriculture.

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