Bengal Agriculture 1920-1946: A Quantitative Study by M. Mufakharul Islam

By M. Mufakharul Islam

It is a learn of agricultural improvement in undivided Bengal through the interval 1920-1946. the 1st a part of the publication is dedicated to an in depth exam of the standard of the formally released crop records and a close research of the tendencies in cropped sector, output and yield in keeping with acre. specific themes mentioned are the slow deterioration in according to capita crop creation and the industrial roots of the Bengal famine in 1943. the second one a part of the e-book bargains with the criteria that at once or in a roundabout way affected crop developments. among those are the impression of crop costs on region sown. traits in actual means of Bengal agriculture are analysed and in comparison with these within the noticeable offer of labour and crop output. the matter of agricultural credits is mentioned and the growth of the Co-operative credits circulation evaluated.

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In the case of autumn rice comparison between predicted official estimates and the findings of the Ishaque Report shows that the official figures are underestimates. 2 Predicted values expressed as a percentage of the figures from the Ishaque Report Crops AllBengal (1) (2) Winter rice Autumn rice Summer rice Gram Wheat Barley Mustard Sugarcane* Tobacco Autumn rice* Sesamum* Net cropped area Double cropped area Current fallow Cultivable waste 74 90 77 54 89 47 Presidency (3) 72 81 7i 62 Burdwan (4) 64 157 23 Rajshahi (5) 65 70 95 Dacca (6) 88 119 80 Chittagong (7) 87 68 63 4i 92 172 122 141 176 195 no 79 139 45 37 83 99 117 100 165 285 106 83 no 78 103 156 25 191 150 192 250 120 no 368 158 42 109 114 79 67 59 81 63 9i 66 84 58 35 9i 57 428 581 570 629 61 167 127 186 186 114 34 100 129 27 29 79 70 17 - * Official estimates expressed as a percentage of the figures from the Ishaque Report.

It is convenient to start with the important work by Datta. He rejects the figures on acreage under cultivation, standard yield and condition factor as these had their origin in the guess work of the Chowkidars and revises the data in the light of the first-hand data which he and his assistants were able to obtain from their tours. Thus, Datta revises all three components of crop output. It seems that his assistants were neither the regular officials of the Agricultural Department nor residents of the locality for which they supplied the data.

12). Obviously these changes are as much the result of changes in the government's crop estimation as observed by Blyn in Bombay-Sind, Madras and United Province. But he does not attempt any correction in such cases. Thus, his estimates of all-India crop output are only partially corrected. Finally, the important work by Desai may be referred to. His method of correction of the available statistics is more straightforward and the coverage is once again very incomplete. For example, so far as Bengal is concerned, he finds that the three independent sources already referred to indicate, on average, an underestimation of 10 per cent in the acreage under the cultivation of rice and he, therefore, revises the data accordingly.

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