Agriculture in India

  • R. K. Arora
Reference work entry

The Harappan culture related to the earliest agricultural settlements in the Indian subcontinent is dated between 2300 and 1700 BCE. The crops of the Harappan period were chiefly of West Asian origin. They included wheat, barley, and peas. Of indigenous Indian origin were rice, tree cotton, and probably sesame. Rice first appeared in Gujarat and Bihar, not in the center of the Harappan culture in the Indus Valley. There is some rather doubtful evidence that African crops were also grown by the Harappans. There is a record of sorghum (jowar) from Sind and Pennisetum (bajra) from Gujarat. The earliest record of the African cereal, Eleusine coracana (ragi) is from Mysore, about 1899 BCE. The Southeast Asian crops of importance to India are sugar‐cane and banana, and they both appear in the early literary record. Crops of American origin include maize, grain amaranths, and potato. The dating of the introduction of maize is uncertain, the characteristics and distribution of some forms...

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  • R. K. Arora

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