Agriculture during British Era

  • Commercialisation of agriculture is a phe­nomenon where agriculture is governed by commer­cial consideration i.e. certain specialised crops began to be grown not for consumption in village but for sale in national and even in international market.
    Commercialization of agriculture in India began during the British rule. Revolutionary changes had occurred in the agrarian property relations towards the end of the 18th century.
  • The commercialization of Indian agriculture started post 1813 when the industrial revolution in England gained pace. Commercialization of agriculture became prominent around 1860 A.D (during American Civil War which boosted demand of Cotton from India to Britain as Aerica was not able to export Cotton).
  • The commercialization of Indian Agriculture took place not to feed the industries of India because India was far behind in industrial development as compared to Britain, France, Belgium and many other European countries of eighteenth century.
  • The commercialization of Indian Agriculture was done primarily to feed the British industries that it was taken up and achieved only in cases-of those agricultural products which were either needed by the British industries or could fetch cash commercial gain to the British in the European or American market.
  • For example, several efforts were made to increase the production of cotton in India to provide raw and good quality cotton to the cotton-textile industries of Britain which were growing fast after the Industrial Revolution in Britain. Therefore, cotton growing area increase in India and its production increased manifold with gradual lapse of time. Indigo and more than that, tea and coffee plantation were encouraged in India because these could get commercial market abroad.
  • Most of the plantations for commercial crops were controlled by the English. Jute was another product that received attention of the English company because the jute made products got a ready market in America and Europe.
  • Cash transactions become the basis of exchange and largely replaced the barter system.