During the period of the great Mughals when royal authority in the center was strong and its hold on provincial and local governments was effective, the emperors insisted on extension of cultivation and the protection of the peasantry. Artificial irrigation by means of wells, perennial and inundation of canals, tanks, aqueducts and dams was extensively encouraged. The average size of a peasant’s holdings was much larger than it was during the post Mughal era and the peasants were better off then they were during the British period. The most important items of agricultural produce were wheat, rice, jawar and bajra. Other important crops were cotton, sugar, tobacco, opium and indigo. Trade in food grains was common and the practice of storing surplus stocks of food grains to be used in time of famine was common. Food grains were extraordinarily cheap during Mughal era.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006