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districts of the Patna and Bhaugulpore divisions and in Assam. The registration of river traffic effected at Sahibgunge showed that about one-half of the oil-seed that came down the river, or nearly 1,300,000 maunds, came from the Patna division, and about 900,000 maunds from the Bhaugulpore division. The largest shipments of oil-seeds are mnde from Kevelgunge in the Sarun district, at the meeting of the Ghogra and the Ganges. From this mart alone more than 500,000 maunds of oil-seeds were despatched, and even this large figure is considered by the Collector to be below the mark, as from eight to nine lakhs of maunds are annually sold at that place. The next largest oil-seeds mart was Roshra, a comparatively little known place on the Chota Gunduck river, in the Durbhanga sub-division of Tirhoot. From Boshra 345,000 maunds of oil seeds were despatched; while Durbhanga and Somastipore, two other towns in the Tirhoot district, sent about 100,000 maunds between them. From the marts of the Patna division, on the south of the Ganges, comparatively little oil-seed was despatched. Patna sent 200,000 maunds; but from other places in Patna or Shahabad not more than 30,000 maunds were despatched. More than four-fifths of the oil-seeds passing Sahebgunge were consigned to Calcutta, or to places on the Bhagirutty, which feed the Calcutta market.
From Serajgunge, in Eastern Bengal, there is an annual export of about 200,000 maunds of oil-seeds.
The principal oil-seeds in the country are sarsoo (mustard), teel (sesamum), and teesee or mushina (linseed). The white and dark-red species of mustard and linseed are in many parts of Bengal the staple produce of the cold weather crops. They are sown in October and November and reaped at the close of the winter season; sirgoojah or sooar goozee, and tara goozee, are oil-seed crops cultivated and reaped at similar seasons. Of all descriptions, mustard oil is the most largely consumed and most relished. It has been remarked that the cultivation of this crop is increasing. Poor lands, and lands recently reclaimed from jungle, are generally sown with it; the yield being considerable in comparison with the small amount of labour devoted to cultivating and preparing the land. It is usually sown on indigo lands in Bengal.
The usual export of linseed from Calcutta is now about three million cwts. The exports of rape-seed, teel-seed, poppy-seed, and other oil-seeds, are comparatively insignificant.
Throughout the hills of the northern and eastern frontiers of these
provinces, including the newly acquired 0 on* Garo territory, cotton is a most import
ant staple. All along the ranges surrounding Assam, and lying between Assam and Sylhet, such as the Garo, Meekir, Khasi, Jynteah, Naga hills, and again between Sylhet and Cachar on one side and Chittagong on the other side, as the Tipperah, Looshai, and Kookee hills, as well as among the Chittagong hills, the cultivation is of much the same character and extending in area. There is also some cotton in the western hills. In the plains, on the contrary, the production of cotton is an inconsiderable industry, and nothing is exported, while much is imported from the North-Western Provinces. The crop takes kindly to the soil in some parts of the Burdwan division; in Orissa there is a growing cultivation, and a great probability of the produce being benefited by irrigation; but even in Behar, where the cultivation is comparatively most extensive, no indigenous cotton is exported, as the crop grown is not sufficient for the requirements of the people, and has to be supplemented by a trade in cotton imported by land or river from the north-east, and by an increasing importation of English piecegoods by sea. There is an enormous importation of English cotton piece-goods into every district in Bengal. The valuable export of raw cotton, of which about four millions sterling in value annually leaves Calcutta, is received from Western India.
The cultivation of the date tree, and the manufacture of date sugar,
Date «u ar and oor are ver^ extensively carried on in the
a e «ugar an goor. deltaic districts of Jessore, in part of
Nuddea, in the sub-divisions of Busirhatand Satkhira, in the 24-Pergunnahs, and to some extent in Fureedpore. It is a popular and profitable cultivation for the ryots, who grow the trees in clusters about their houses, on the boundaries of their fields, and occasionally in large open gardens occupying broad areas of land. The juice is extracted from the trees during the cold season. It has been estimated that after deducting expenses the ryot clears a profit of six annas per tree, besides the advantage he enjoys for raising a cold weather or rice crop in the ground occupied by the date garden. A tree yields five seers a season, and may go on yielding for 20 or more years. As many as 100 trees are frequently planted in a beegah of land. Goor and date sugar are enormously consumed in the districts of their manufacture, and yet are freely exported also. It has been ascertained, for instance, that in the sub-divisions of Jhenidah and Magoorah, in the district of Jessore, 391,780 maunds of goor, and 137,000 maunds of date sugar, were manufactured in the present year (1873), of which nearly 50,000 maunds were sent down to Calcutta. The genuine sugarcane plant in these localities has been fairly
^ driven out by the date, and is now
ugarcane' languishing. It is, however, largely
cultivated elsewhere in Bengal and Behar. Excellent varieties have been imported and tried with success from the Pacific Islands and the West Indies, but the progress of their growth has been injured by the recurrence of a blight. A similar account of this deterioration is received from Runspore and Hooghly. The country qualities are of a very moderate description. Sugar is largely produced in the north-west of Bogra, in the east of Dinagepore, in the Bograi Pergunnah of Midnapore, in Furreedpore, and in Behar, principally in the district of Arrah. There is a large local consumption everywhere, and the exports and imports are not relatively large. It may, however, be noted that 555,000 maunds of sugar exported from Benares and Behar were registered last year at the Sahibguuge registering station. Rather more than 500,000 maunds are annually exported from Calcutta.
With the exception of Rungpore and the Dooars, and a part of
Tobacco Tirhoot and Purneah, there is hardly a
0 acc°' district of Bengal in which tobacco is
sown for trade and export. Tobacco is, however, universally grown to a certain extent for local consumption. The ryot takes up a small plot of land at his homestead near his cow-house, for the convenience of manuring the laud, as he always, if possible, manures his tobacco crop. Iii Baraset and elsewhere, where indigo cultivation has been extinguished, tobacco has been found to thrive well on the old indigo lands, and may be seen planted up to the very edge of the ruined vats. Tobacco is reared in a nursery in October, transplanted in November, and becomes ripe in March and August. The Rungpore, or Kochar tobacco, as it is called, is imported all over Eastern Bengal, and a not inconsiderable quantity leaves the country and goes to British Burmah. It is exported by the Mughs and Chittagong merchants and from Calcutta. As evidence of the excellence of the Rungpore tobacco, it is gratifying to note that a medal was obtained by a native of the district for a specimen which he exhibited at the Paris Kxhibition of 1S67.
Tea is cultivated to a greater or less extent in the five divisions of tm Assam, Dacca, Cooch Behar, Chitta
ea' gong, and Cliota Nagpore. The records
of the different district officers show that, the area of waste land at present held by persons connected with the industry is 804,582 acres, and that out of this area 70,341 acres are actually cultivated with tea; but this is probably an under-estimate. The outturn of this acreage is shown by the same authorities at only 14,670,171 pounds. From the Calcutta Trade Returns it appears that the total yield last year exported by sea was close upon 17| million pounds; in 1871-72 it was 15£ millions. It is estimated that the total manufacture during the present season will be 204 millions. There is every reason to believe that the Calcutta estimates approximate to the truth more nearly than those given in the district reports. There is also a growing consumption of Indian tea in India exclusive of what is exported. These results are most encouraging when it is recollected that it is only twelve years since that the annual outturn of tea did not exceed one million pounds.
At the head of the divisions comes Assam, in which tea is grown in five districts—Seebsaugor, Durrung, Lukhimpore, Nowgong, Kamroop. The total area taken up for tea planting is stated to be 364,990 acres, and the amount cultivated to be about 80,000 acres, or not more than eight per cent. The produce of tea during the year 1872 is estimated by district officers to be 6,150,764 pounds, of which 1 500,000 were produced by the Assam Company. Next to Assam comes Dacca with two tea-growing districts, Sylhet and Cachar. The amount taken up for tea is about 200,000 acres, and the cultivated area 26,751, or about 13 per cent, of the whole acreage. The outturn of this division, according to the same authorities, i* about 5i million pounds. Next to Dacca in importance as a tea-growing division is Cooch Behar, with two tea districts, Darjeeling and Gowalpaf*. The total area taken up is 138,024 acres, of which 14,689 acres, or about 11 per cent., are under cultivation. The outturn of the division for 1872 was said to be about three million pounds.
In the Chittagong division there is only one tea-growing district, Chittagong itself. About 24,000 acres are taken up, of which 2,203 are cultivated. The outturn for 1872 is given in the district returns as 204,112 lb.
The tea cultivation of Chota Nagpore is very unimportant, though there are gardens in two districts, Hazareebaugh and Lohardugga. The total cultivation is X94 acres, of which the outturn for 1872 is stated to have been 53,200 tb.
In Mymensingh there is a single tea garden of 88 acres, and the produce in 1872 was 6,400 tb.
The head of all the districts in cultivation is Cachar, with an outturn of nearly 5 million pounds. (The quality of the Cachar tea is also thought by some to be the best.) Then comes Seebsaugor, with an outturn of more than 3 millions, and Darjeeling with about 3 millions. Lukbimpore, Durrung, Sylhet, Nowgong, Kamroop, and Chittagong, follow in the order indicated.
The average yield per acre calculated upon the entire cultivation is said to be about 208 lb. This amount, though falling far short of the sanguine expectations of the first days of tea planting, is amply remunerative, and the prices now obtained show that the average quality must be very good. It is unquestionable indeed that the industry is in an infinitely better and safer position now than it was ten years ago. The cultivation has enormously extended, and the gardens are as a general rule well filled with plant, highly cultivated, and carefully managed. There is every reason to hope that the labour difficulty is disappearing in Cachar, and in spite of the complaints from Assam there are evident signs of improvement in that province. In Darjeeling also the labour question becomes more easy of solution. The tea industry is in short, in spite of occasional anxieties, now evidently prosperous, and, it may fairly be anticipated, is entering on a period of stability such as it has not yet experienced.
The production of indigo is a principal industry in these provinces. Jdj. In the districts of Nuddea and Jessore,
in the Lower Provinces, over Central Bengal, in Purneah, and westward throughout Behar, north of the Ganges, indigo is largely cultivated, and from its mode of cultivation is in many places the most important article that engrosses the attention of the people. Although in Bengal proper the area of indigo lands is much reduced, in Behar it has increased, and the total annual outturn and export of the country is now hardly less upon an average than it was thirty years ago. The average may be said to be about 100,000 mauuds, valued at two millions sterling. A statement showing the total exports of indigo from Calcutta for the last thirty years, furnished by the Custom House, is subjoined:—
In the Chittagong division, in Orissa, Chota Nagpore, and Assam, no indigo is sown. Vats have been opened in Orissa, but the cultivation did not succeed, and they fell to ruin, although it is said that a plant very like indigo grows wild in some of the tributary estates. In Dacca also indigo has very recently (since Messrs. Wise and Brodie closed their factories) ceased to be a crop of much importance. There are now only two factories at Dacca belonging to a European company, and a small concern belonging to a native zemindar in Mymensingh. There is a small cultivation in Furreedpore, with an average outturn of about 400 maunds. Twenty years ago this was one of the principal indigo tracts in the country, and the produce was from three to four thousand maunds.
In the jungly tracts of Midnapore, in the Burdwan division, superior indigo of first rate dye is produced. The outturn is calculated at 1,800 maunds, valued at four lakhs and a half of rupees. In the other parts of the division, however, the industry does not prosper. In Hooghly indigo manufacture is extinct, although fortunes were formerly made in the factories which are now falling to decay; and though the churs of the Bhagirutty and Hooghly present an admirable field for indigo cultivation, and are otherwise little profitable, no one seems disposed to try it again. There are still a few small factories in Burdwan, Beerbhoom, and in Bancoorah, but indigo cannot be made in these districts of sufficient quality and quantity combined to make it a very remunerative enterpise.
Indigo is grown largely over the Moorshedabad, Maldah, and Rajshahye districts of the Rajshahye division, and to a less extent in Pubna and Rungpore. The constant changes all along the river Ganges supply ample alluvial soil well suited for the crop. In the little district of Maldah there are upwards of twenty working factories belonging to some seven different concerns, and the average outturn is about 2,000 maunds. In Moorshedabad the outturn is above 3,000 maunds from twelve concerns. From Rajshahye, with three concerns, the produce is about 1,000 maunds. In Pubna and Rungpore indigo is a failing industry as far as the connection of European capitalists with it goes. From Pubna the outturn may now amount to 4 50 maunds, but in past years it was a principal indigo-producing tract
Indigo is also grown and manufactured throughout the Bhaugulpore division; extensively in the Regulation districts, and moderately in the Sonthal Pergunnahs. There are six concerns in Monghyr, some of them large, and the outturn of that district is not less than 4,000 maunds. In Purneah there are twenty concerns, with an average produce of 6,000 mannds. From Bhaugulpore, the outturn is about 3,500 maunds, and there are eighteen concerns.
In the 24-Pergunnahs district of the Presidency division indigo is now extinct, though but a few years ago there was a large cultivation, especially in what is now the sub-division of Baraset. In Nuddea and Jessore, on the contrary, although the cultivation has much decreased, and numerous factories have been closed, the indigo industry is still of the very first importance. The average outturn is not short of 10,000 maunds annually, while the quality of the dye is of the highest order and