History of agriculture in the Indian subcontinent

Overview of the history of agriculture in the Indian subcontinent Grand Anicut dam on river Kaveri (1st-2nd Century CE) is one of the oldest water-regulation structures in the world still in use.

Indian agriculture began by 9000 BCE on north-west India as a result of early cultivation of plants, and domestication of crops and animals. Settled life soon followed with implements and techniques being developed for agriculture. Double monsoons led to two harvests being reaped in one year. Indian products soon reached the world via existing trading networks and foreign crops were introduced to India. Plants and animals—considered essential to their survival by the Indians—came to be worshiped and venerated.

The middle ages saw irrigation channels reach a new level of sophistication in India and Indian crops affecting the economies of other regions of the world. Land and water management systems were developed with an aim of providing uniform growth. Despite some stagnation during the later modern era the independent Republic of India was able to develop a comprehensive agricultural programme.

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Early history

Neolithic

In the period of the Neolithic revolution, roughly 8000-4000 BCE, Agro pastoralism in India included threshing, planting crops in rows—either of two or of six—and storing grain in granaries. Barley and wheat cultivation—along with the rearing of cattle, sheep and goat—was visible in Mehrgarh by 8000-6000 BCE.

According to Gangal et al. (2014), there is strong archeological and geographical evidence that neolithic farming spread from the Near East into north-west India....read more

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