(Last Updated on : 24/01/2009)
The latter half of the 19th century , witnessed a developing trend in the Indian Agriculture. The emergence of the commercialization in the Indian Agriculture was the marked feature in the latter parts of the 19th century. So far agriculture had been away from the business enterprise. Now agriculture began to influence by the commercial consideration. Under the commercialization of Agriculture, certain specialized crops were s grown. The sole aim for the productions of such crops was not for consumption in the village, rather these were used for sales in the national and even in the international markets. Commercial crops like cotton, jute, groundnuts, oilseeds, sugarcane, tobacco, etc were more remunerative than food grains. Again the cultivation of crops like condiments , spices, fruits and vegetables could make a widespread commercial transactions. However the historians have opined that the trends of commercialization reached in its highest level of developments in the plantation industry i.e. tea, coffee, rubber etc, which were produced for selling in the wider market.
Agriculture as a medium of business transaction was not a sudden outcome. Rather certain factors were responsible for the commercialization and specialization of agricultural market. The spread of money economy , the replacement of custom and tradition by competition and contract, the growth of internal and external trade, the emergence of a unified national market etc was responsible for the commercialization of agriculture.
However to the Indian peasants, commercialization seemed a forced process. To meet the excessive land revenue demands of the state and by the high rates of interest charged by the moneylenders, forced the peasants to participate in such process of commercialization. By this process of commercialization, the cultivator had to rush a part of their harvest into the market and sell it in the prices whatever it fetched. Under this circumstances, many poor farmers had to buy back those crops which they s had sold at lowers prices during the harvest time. Further the Indian agriculture was influenced by the widely fluctuating Indian prices. The cottons boom of the year 1860 pushed up the prices but mostly benefited the hosts of intermediaries. This resulted in terrible famine. However the modernization or commercialization in agriculture did not increase the production level in the country. Rather it brought economic disruption in the country.
The British rulers of India did not conceive of India as an industrialized country. Rather the British rulers deliberately followed policies to de-industrialize India. Their sole motive was to convert India and preserve it as an agricultural farm providing raw materials to industrializing Britain. However, compulsions of maintaining Imperial control over the country. It is thorough economic exploitation, which led Britain to construct roads, railways, telegraph lines, posts, irrigation system, etc. However the constructions of modern industries provided the material basis for the beginnings of the modern industry in India. Lord Dalhousie touched on the commercial benefits from railways construction. The constructions of railways in India stimulated the growth of a numbers of others industries. The same years lord Dalhousie penned his minute on Railways. The railways system thus became the forerunner of the modern industries in India. It was the railways, which introduced the colonial method of state policy about industrialization.