J. Forbes (John Forbes) Royle.

Essay on the productive resources of India [electronic resource] online

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who will have to institute negotiations respecting
the land they are to occupy. The above gen-

Y 2


Importance of tlcmeii Will be useful foF such piirposes, as well

scientific with . . . . . „ . ^ . , ,

practical infor- as 111 imparting- scieiitiiic miormation and the
results of the experiments in and the practices of
India, without interfering in any way with the
management of the farms, or the cultivation of
the cotton.

Choice of Iocs- In choosing; the localities for the farms in each

lities. -r» . .

Presidency, attention must be paid not only
to its being a favourable site for the growth of
cotton, but also one that is not unhealthy, and of
which the example will have influence over as
Mode of expe- large a space as possible. It is next necessary to

riment. . i • i • i i

determine the mode in which the experiment is to

Kind of Cotton, be tried, and the kind of cotton which is to be

cultivated. In the first place, it is desirable that

a small farm should be held by the planter, to

Personal farm, whatever cxtcut he thinks he can personally

superintend, in which with his own establishment

of workmen, horses or bullocks, and tools, he

should be able to cultivate cotton in every respect

Forexperi- exactly as he desires. In this he mio^ht vary the

ments. '' .

culture, so as to see the effects of earlier or later
sowing, more or less open planting, the degree
of ploughing and weeding that is requisite, or the
extent and times of topping or pruning that are
Picking, &c. beneficial. The careful system of picking, drying,
•aw-ging under and cleaning will be equally applicable to all,
and the latter will require to be carried on under
cover, and by the aid of the perfect machinery
which Captain Bayles is conveying to India. But
the buildings ought not to be more expensive


than is absolutely necessary, or, at least, what is Buildings for
essential ought to be distinguished from what is F°^ **"*^^^"-
optional, in order that the expense and experi-
ence may serve as useful guides for others. In
this respect, however, the best advice will be that
of the planters themselves.

As there will in the first instance necessarily Desirable that
be considerable difficulties to be overcome, and each Presiden-
several modifications of culture may be required together at
to meet the varieties of soil, of climate, and of
season, so these will probably be best surmount-
ed by mutual consultation. It will, therefore,
be advisable that the planters in each Presi-
dency should at first make their experiments in
localities so situated that the same saw-gin
would answer for them all. When a know- Might after-

wards separate.

ledge of climate and seasons has been acquired,
separation might then take place to a greater or
less distance, as might be thought advisable, and
each planter would then be fully able to adapt
his culture to the soil and climate of his own

The kinds of cotton to be cultivated will de- Kinds of Cot-

, . ^ 1 • ^ I ton to be culti-

pend, in some measure, upon the views of the rated.
planters themselves, but in a great degree upon
the places where they are located. There is no
doubt that some of the kinds, as the Sea-Island,
Bourbon, and Pernambuco, succeed best in the
south, while the Upland Georgian, and perhaps
the Egyptian, flourish best in the northern pro-
vinces. The success of these will also depend


Kinds of Cot- upon the soil, as it is well known that the peren-
vated. nial species have not succeeded in the black cotton

soil of India, though this is well adapted to
the annual cotton plant of the country. It may
perhaps, wherever not too retentive of mois-
ture, be found suitable with improved culture
Must depend to the Mcxican plant, now exclusively cultivated

on soil and cli- ... ^- , /•ii-i

mate. m Louisiana. Independent oi the kinds, whe-

ther foreign or native, which it may be deter-
The most suit- mined to cultivate most extensively, it will be
siveiy. cxtrcmcly desirable, nay essential, that a small

Every kind in portion of gTOund, say a beegah or an acre, should

small quanti- . . i • i

ties. be devoted to each of the principal kinds of

cotton which have been enumerated, besides
to the Tree and Herbaceous cottons of India. Of
the latter, picked seed from the places where the
best cotton is now grown, should be tried.

Persons em- The pcoplc employed under the planters

ployed under iii /.i -iii n /•

planters to be should, as many of them as possible, be at first of
rather a superior class of labourers or cultivators.
It may be also suggested as worthy of considera-
tion, whether some apprentices from the Orphan
Schools may not be beneficially placed at each
farm, who, as well as the former, might be after-
wards useful in more extensively diffusing the
benefit of the improved practice, which will no
doubt be successfully introduced.

Successful prac When the culture best suited to each part of

tice to be made , t i i • n • » • -n

known to na- India has bccu practically ascertained, it will
then be extremely desirable to endeavour to in-
duce the natives of the district to adopt the im-


proved modes, both of cultivating and of cleaning

cotton. This, by inviting them to inspect the new instructions for

, , culture in na-

culture, sending round the natives who may have tive languages
been instructed, and by distributing plain in- buted.
structions in the native languages, describing the
processes of culture and of cleaning, as well as, if
possible, givinga comparative view of the expenses,
quantity of produce, and the prices obtained for
the improved cotton. In all these operations, the
officer who is supposed to be the medium of com-
munication between the planters and others, will
be able to render the most essential service.
Specimens of the cotton as grown should be sent Specimens of

1 T^ • 1 • 1 1 I 1 Cotton grown

to the Fresidencies, where they may be sub- to be submitted
mitted by the governments to the several Agri-
cultural societies and commercial men ; so that
early opinions might be obtained respecting the
different kinds of cotton which are produced, and
the utmost publicity given to the progress of the
experiments. It would be desirable also that The planters
the planters should themselves be provided with nishedwith
specimens of the different kinds of cotton which ffaiiThe'kinds
are brought to the English market, and which "^ ^°"°"-
would serve for comparison with the several kinds
of cotton grown on their plantations.

Planters in the interior of India complain compiaintof
that they have no encouragement to bestow extra planters.
labour, and incur greater expense in growing su-
perior cottons, as these when brought to market superior, bring
at the Presidency bring only the same prices as o"OTdinan"cot-
the ordinary cotton of the country. The cot- dency.


Complaint of toii Committee of the Agricultural Society of

Indian Planters ^^ . , .

that extra la- Calcutta admit, that parties there are interested m

bourisnotre- , . . , . . i • i -n ^

paid by im- Keeping down the prices of staples, which will not
be properly valued until their prices are established
in Europe. The Secretary writes to Colonel Skin-
ner, who had planted and sold Georgia cotton, and
obtained only the price which good country cotton
realized — " It appears to me that you have not
given your new cotton a fair trial, and that if you
had sent it to England direct, you would have
reaped better returns than in Calcutta ; and I
ground my opinion upon the circumstance, that
had your cotton been equal to the first quality

Theexperi- American, the result of a sale in this country

mental Cottons i • i i • i •

should be sent would have been the same, inasmuch as it was

Liverpool. a new article." It is, therefore, necessary that a

portion, or the whole, of the produce of each

of the new farms should be sent regularly for

sale to the markets of London and Liverpool.

As the object of these extensive experiments is
not only to grow superior cotton, but also to ob-
tain accurate information for still more extensive
Reports from application, SO it is desirable to have reports

Planters. ff > ^

from the planters, however brief, respecting the
details of their culture, from the different parts
of India in which they may be situated. The
scientific officer, who may be in communication
with the planters, should furnish, at least, a
general annual report, including notices of the
soil, climate, and peculiarities of seasons, as by
this means some general data will be obtained of


extensive application. The defects will thus be Reports on the

. . /> 1 1 -1 experimental

avoided of previous experiments, of the details culture.
and particular results of which we know too
little to be able to rank them amon^ successful
investigations, or as partial or complete failures.

Bengal Presidency.
Cotton is cultivated in the Madras presi- Extent over

* which Cotton

dencv from 8° to 17** of north latitude, in that of >« cultivated in

" -r* 1 India.

Bombay from 1 6® to 24°, and in the Bengal pre-
sidency excellent cotton has been grown in the
neighbourhood both of Calcutta and of Dacca, as
well as near Delhi, that is, from 2^° to 30° of
north latitude. So that there would appear to be
favourable sites in India for the culture of cotton
over an extent of 22° of latitude.

The muslins of Dacca, so Ions: celebrated. Cotton of

' ° ' Dacca

have always been manufactured from a cotton
grown to the eastward and south-east of the
city of Dacca, and a few miles inland from the
banks of the Burrampooter ; the plant has been
figured by Dr. Roxburgh in vol. 3, t. 269, of his
Coromandel Plants. It has often been doubted
whether the superiority of the manufacture was
dependent on the skill of the workmen or the
goodness of the cotton; but from Mr. Lamb's ac- ^^Jj''^ •^"''*-
count it appears to be carefully cultivated. It will
probably be found that both have some influence,
and it is certain that the workmen prefer the


Cotton prefer- Dacca cottoD, because, as Mr. Bebb long ago ex-
red as its thread i.,. i ii ii*ii i*
does not swell, plained, its thread does not swell m bleaching,

as is the case with the cotton grown in North-
Western and Central India. (Vide Reports of
East-India Company on Cotton, p. 350.)
Cotton of N. Of the cotton which is ffrown further north,

W. India. ^

Mr. Duncan, as early as 1789, relates, that
the greatest part of the cotton produced in Be-
nares (N. lat. 25°) is spun into thread, as the
spinners there prefer such cotton to the gene-
rality of that imported from foreign countries.
Of this, the cotton imported from Nagpore was
held in the highest estimation, and considered
nearly equal to that from Surat, though that
grown near Benares is described as being very
cottonofN.w. little inferior to it. Previous to 1802, we learn,
indla^TwS from a report on the cotton trade of India by
the Bengal Government, that the average annual
quantity of cotton imported into the Honourable
East-India Company's provinces on that side of
India by the Ganges, had been for many years
450,000 maunds of ninety-six pounds, for the
manufacturers of Benares, Bengal, Behar, and
Orissa. Of these, 180,000 maunds were the pro-
duce of the Deccan, and 270,000 maunds from
the northward, principally from the country
along the banks of the Jumna. This tract, in-
cluding the three districts of Currah, Carah, and
Etawah, which had always produced a consider-
able quantity of cotton, subsequently

Online LibraryJ. Forbes (John Forbes) RoyleEssay on the productive resources of India [electronic resource] → online text (page 23 of 32)