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The Foundations of Indian Agriculture

Nature volume 113, page 743 (24 May 1924) | Download Citation



DR. MARTIN LEAKE'S book is written primarily for the needs of the Indian student. It covers a wide field, as it deals with historical development, agricultural science, and agricultural economics. The latter section will prove of most interest to the English reader, who has already available extensive literature dealing in detail wial history and science. Dr. Leake discusses lucidl y a fundamental problem in Indian rural life-the system of inheritance which in both Hindu and Mohammedan law recognises equality of right between the children. The inevitable result is a progressive division and subdivision of holdings to an uneconomic size, and since the good and the bad land must be fairly divided, the problem is further complicated. Nor do the difficulties end here. The cultivation operations essential for the full growth of crops cannot be carried out owing to the lack of sufficient sturdy cattle. Religious difficulties are serious but not insurmountable, and the solution appears to be that in use in Egypt, where cattle are stall-fed largely on fodder grown in rotation with maize, cotton, wheat, and other crops. The final sections dealing with the development of co-operation, and the replacement of the village money-lenders' activities, are of considerable interest.

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