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B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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burrs, with a thick-jointed sappy stem ; grows along the ground, is very
good for milch cattle.

^ From a memorandum by Colonel Boddam. The botanical name has been added
where it could be identified.



lOI



CROPS AND CULTIVATION^



Cultivated lands are usually classed as dry, hishki ; wet, tari ; and
garden, tbta or bdgdyat. In the first are raised crops which do not
require irrigation, pair-dramba : the wet crops are those dependent for
their growth entirely on irrigation, nir-dramba : the products of garden
cultivation are fruits or drugs requiring a moist situation with an
abundant supply of water. Gardens are of four kinds : tarkdri tbta,
vegetable gardens ; iengina or adike iota, cocoa-nut or areca-nut
plantations ; yek tbta, betel leaf plantations ; and hi/vina tbta, flower
gardens. The agricultural seasons are two, and the produce is called
Kdrtika fasal ox Vais dkJia fasal -^ccoxdiAXiglo the time of ripening.- In
the Mysore District the seasons are named kdru and haiiiii. In parts
of the Malndd the former has the name kbdii.

But the farmer's calendar is regulated by the rains that fall under
each of the jiakshatras or lunar asterisms, after which they are called.
The following are the names, with the generally corresponding
months : —

Lunar Mouth. Solar Month.

Chailra

April



Nakshatra
As'vini
Bharani
Krittika
Rohini

Mrigas'ira . . .
Ardra

I 'unarvasu . . .
I'ushya
As'lesha
Magha
Tuliba
U tiara
Hasta
China
Svati
Vis'akha
Amiradha ...
Jyeshtha
Mula'

ri'irvashadha
Utlarashadha
S'ravana



\'ais'akha

Jyeshtha

Ashadha

S'ravana
Bhadrapada
.Vs'vija
Kartika

Margas'ira
I'ushya



May
June

July

August . . .
September
October ...
November

December
January ...



Mcsha ...
N'rishabha
Milhuna ...
Karkataka

Simha
Kanya
Tula
\"ris'chika

Dhanus ...
Makara ..,



Aries



Taurus



Cjemini



Cancer



Leo



Virgo



Libra



Scorpio



Sagittarius
Capricornus



ind accurate accounts have l)een freely used in describing the



' Buchanan's full
modes of cultivation.

'^ Kartika falls in October — November ; Vais'dl;ha in April — May.



I02 FLORA

Nakshatra. Lunar Month. Sola)- Mont/i.

Dhanishtlia... ... Magha

S'atal)liisha... ... ... .. February... Kuinljlia ... Aquarius

l\'irval)ha(lra ... I'halj^una

Utlarabhddra ... ... .. March ... Mina ... Pisces

Rcvati

Bharani rain is considered to prognosticate good seasons throughout
the year. This is expressed in the Telugu proverb Bharani vaste
dharani pandudu — if Bharani come, the earth will bring forth. The
rains from Mrigas'ira to A.s'lesha are the sowing time, for food grains
in the earlier part, and horse-gram in the later. Svati and Vis'akha
rains mark the close of the rainy season. Anuradha to Mula is the
reaping time, when only dew falls. At this season the future rains are
supposed to be engendered in the womb of the clouds. Sugar-cane is
planted in Pilrvabhadra and Uttarabhadra.

The absolute dependence of all classes on \\\^ panchdtiga or almanac
is thus explained by Buchanan : — " Although, in common reckoning,
the day begins at sunrise, yet this is by no means the case in the
cha7idra]iidnain almanac. Some days last only a few hours, and others
continue for almost double the natural length ; so that no one, without
consulting the Panchangadava or almanac-keeper, knows when he is to
perform the ceremonies of religion. What increases the difficulty is,
that some days are doubled, and some days altogether omitted, in order
to bring some feasts, celebrated on certain days of the month, to happen
at a proper time of the moon, and also in order to cut off six super-
fluous days, which twelve months of thirty days would give more than
a year of twelve lunations. Every thirtieth month one intercalary moon
is added, in order to remove the difference between the lunar and solar
years. As the former is the only one in use, and is varying continually,
none of the farmers, without consulting the Panchangadava, knows the
season for performing the operations of agriculture. These Panchanga-
davas are poor ignorant Brahmans, who get almanacs from some one
skilled in astronomy. This person marks the days, which correspond
with the times in the solar year, that usually produce changes in the
weather, and states them to be under the influence of such and such
conjunctions of stars, male, female, and neuter ; and everyone knows
the tendency of these conjunctions to produce certain changes in the

weather."

The following is a list of the most generally cultivated productions of

the soil : —

Dry Crops.
Cereals.

Eleusine corocana, Gartn. ... Ragi Ragi-

Panicum frumentaceum, AW(5. ... Little millet Same, save.



CROPS



103



Panicum italicum, IJim. ...

,, miliaceum, Linn.

,, semiverticillatum
Pennisetum typhoideum, lizc/i.
Sorghum vulgare, I'ers. ...

Cajanus indicus, Spreng. . . .
Cicer arietinum, Z?««.
Dolichos biflorus, Linn. ...

,, lablab, Linn.
Lens esculenta, Mcench. ...
Phaseolus mungo, Linn. . . .

,, ,, var. radiatus, /,///«

Vigna catiang, Endl.

Guizotia abyssinica, Cass.
Ricinus communis, Linn.



Sesamuni indicum, D.C. ...

Brassica nigra, Koch.
Crotolarea juncea, Linn.
(iossypium herbaceum, Linn.
I libiscus cannabinus, Linn.
Nicotiana tabacum, Linn.



OiyzB. sa.tiya., Linn.
Saccharum officinarum, Li>in.



Allium cepa, Linn.

,, sativum, Linn.
Arachis hyjxjga'a, Linn. ...
Capsicum annuum, Li)in.
Carum copticum, Benth....
Carthamus tinctorius, Linn.
Coriandrum sativum, /.inn.
Cuminum cyminum, Linn.
Curcuma longa, Roxb.
Trigonclla focnum gra*cum, Linn.
Zingiber officinale, Rose. ...

Areca catechu, Linn.

Cocos nucifera, />?';/;/.

Coffea arabica, /,///;/.

Elettaria cardamomum, Maton. ..

Morus indica, Linn.

Musa sapientum, Linn. ...



Italian millet
Common millet ...

Spiked millet
Great millet

Pulses.
Pigeon pea, doll
Bengal gram, chick pea
Horse gram, kujli
Cow gram

Lentil

Green gram
Black gram

Oil seeds.
. Foolish oil plant
. Castor oil

Wild „

. Gingelli, sesame
Miscellaneous.

. Mustard

Indian hemp
. Cotton

. Dekhan hemp ...
. Tobacco ...

Wet Crops.

Rice
Sugar-cane

Garden Crops.

. Onion
. Garlic

Ciround-nut
. Chilly

Bishop's weed

Safflower...

Coriander
. Cummin seed

Turmeric

Fenugreek

Ginger ...

J\Iiscellaneo us.
Areca-nut
Cocoa-nut
Coffee
Cardamom
Mulberry

i'lantain ...



Navane.

Baragu.

Haraka.

Sajje.

Joja.

Togari, tovari.

Kadale.

Hurali.

Avare.

Channangi.

Hesaru.

I'ddu.

Alsandi, tadugani.

Huchchejlu, ramtil.

Ilaralu.

Kad-, dod-, or mara-

haralu.
Woljclju, achchel]u.

Sasive.
Sanabu.
Arale.
Pundi.
Hoge soppu.



Bhatta, nellu.
Kabbu.



Nirulli.
Bejluiji.
Kallekayi, nela kadale.
Mensina kayi.
Oma.
Kusumba.
Kottambari.
Jirige.
Arisina.
Mentya.
Sunti.

Ad ike.

Tengina kayi.

Bundu, kapi.

Velakki.

Uppu nerle, kambali

gida.
Bale.



I04



J' LOR A



I'ijK'r Ijctlc, Liiiii.

,, nigrum, Linn.
Triticuiii sativum, La/iik.



Ik'tcl vine
lilack pepper
Wheat ...



Viled-ele.

.Menasu.

(;6dhi.



The total area taken up for cultivation in 189 1-2 is stated at
5,685,160 acres, of which 4,601,729, or 8o'9 per cent, were for dry
cultivation ; 697,419, or i2'2 per cent., for wet cultivation; 234,955, or
4"i per cent., for garden cultivation; and 148,834, or 2*6 per cent, for
coffee. The approximate area actually under crops from 1870, so far
as figures are available from the Annual Reports, may be gathered
from the following statement, expressed in millions of acres : —



IS70


• 5-15


1876


•• 5-53


1882 .


• 4-51


1887


•• 5-24


I87I


.. 4-91


1877


.. 4-38


1883 .


• 4 '65


1888


.. 5-28


1872


.. 5-26


187S


•• 4'39


1884 .


• 4 '47


1889


•• 553


1873


.. 5-20


1879


•• 3-99


1885 .


. 4-88


1890


• • 5 '60


1874


■• 5 "22


1880


.. 4-28


1886 .


• 5"io


1891


.. 5-68


1875


• • 5 '02


1881


•• 4-35











In 1865 the acreage seems to have been 3 "14 millions, so that culti-
vation has increased 80 per cent, in twenty-seven years since. But part
of the increase may, no doubt, be attributed to more accurate measure-
ment, resulting from the progress of the Revenue Survey. In the first
series- the highest point was reached apparently in 1876, just before
the great famine ; but the crops of that year perished, and it was
thirteen years before cultivation spread to the same extent again.
Adopting intervals of five years, the percentage of approximate acres
returned as under various crops was as follows : —



Crops.


1871.


1876.


1881.


1886. i


1891.




r Ragi

Other Food Grains ...


j- 66 '04


84-


75-11


t
73-4


45 '9
1 28^6


Dry ... -


Oil Seeds


2'I


2-2


3-06


4'5 1


4*1


Cotton


•78


•09





•87


•71




Tobacco


•4


•21





•92


"■>




l Wheat


•25


•I


•4


•36


■06




r Rice


24-5


8-


1273


^y3,


12-7


Wet... \


Sugar-cane


•45


•2




•72 j


•62




Mulberry


•28


■2





•2 i


•24




r Cocoa-nut and




} 2-3










Areca-nut


!•


3-1


27


2-8


Garden -


Vegetables


1-9


•s





•66


!•!




. Coffee


2-3


2-1


3-2


2-1 ,


2-6



CROPS 105

The most important fluctuation exhibited by these figures is an
apparent reHnquishment of rice cultivation in favour of the cultivation
of ragi and associated food grains, and of oil seeds. This movement,
which took place in the years 1871 to 1873, is not specially noticed in
the Reports. But it appears to have been coincident with a change of
policy whereby the control of irrigation channels and tanks was trans-
ferred from the Revenue officers to the Public Works Department,
with the view of their being systematically repaired, the necessity for
which had long been recognized, and brought up to a good standard of
safety. The former frequent waste of water was now checked, and
steps were taken to enforce the responsibilities of the cultivators in
regard to the maintenance of the restored irrigation tanks. Moreover,
as the new Revenue Survey approached the rice districts, it was now-
real i/.ed that all occupied lands were liable to pay the assessment,
whether cultivated or not. Hence perhaps a reduction in the area of
wet cultivation which the statistics disclose, the actual area under rice
having dropped from i"32 million acres before 187 1 to little over half
a million in the subsequent year. Another explanation may be found
in the following statement from the Report for 187 1-2 : — "The fall in
the value of produce has been attended by considerable relinquishments
of land, chiefly on the part of speculators, who appear to have taken
up land wherever it could be obtained during the period of high prices,
and who, doubtless, in many instances have found it no longer worth
retaining,"

The following figures, taken from the returns for 1 891-2, are instruc-
tive as showing the Districts in which the cultivation of particular pro-
ducts is most extensive. Mysore and Bangalore grow the most ragi,
followed by Tumkilr, Hassan, and Kolar, in this order. Chitaldroog
and Mysore have the largest area under other dry grains and oil seeds.
Chitaldroog is pre-eminently the cotton district, and also takes the prin-
cipal lead in the limited area under wheat. Mysore produces the most
tobacco. Shimoga is the chief rice district, the cultivation being to a
great extent dependent on the rains alone : Mysore follows, with its
splendid system of irrigation channels: Kadur and Hassan come next,
partaking of the character of both. Shimoga, Kolar, and Hassan are
the principal sugar-cane districts. Mulberry cultivation, for the nourish-
ment of silkworms, is confined entirely to Mysore and the eastern
districts. Tumkilr stands first in cocoa-nut and areca-nut gardens,
especially the former, followed by Hassan, Mysore and Shimoga,
which last excels in areca-nut. Kolar cultivates the largest extent of
vegetables, while Bangalore and Tumkiir come next, a good way after.
Kadur and Hassan are almost exclusively the coffee districts.



io6



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■i/i iiiodga/a, or white nigi with incurved
spikes ; and the kari viodgala, or incurved black ragi : the two latter
are sometimes kept separate, and sometimes sown intermixed. The
cultivation for all the three is quite the same and the value of the
different kinds is equal ; but the produce of the kari modgala is rather
the greatest.

"The whole world," says ^^'ilks, "does not, perhaps, exhibit a
cleaner system of husbandry than that of the cultivation of ragi in the
home fields of Mysore. On the first shower of rain after harvest the
home fields are again turned up with the plough,- and this operation,
as showers occur, is repeated six successive times during the dry season,
at once destroying the weeds and opening the ground to the influence

* The following is the composition of nigi grain according to Professor Church in
Food Grains of India : —

In 100 parts







Husked


Whole


In I lb.


Water




13-2 ..


. 12-5 .


2 oz grains


Albumino:


ids


7-3 ••


• 5-9 •


• • ,, 413 „


Starch




73-2 ..


. 74-6 .


■ II ,, 409 >.


Oil...




15 ..


. 0-8 .,


.. ,, 56 ,,


Fibre




2-5 ..


. 36 .,


,, 252 ,,


Ash




2-3 ..


. 2-6 ..


. ,, 182 ,,



The nutrient ratio is liere i : 13, llie nutrient vahie S4. The percentage of phos-
phoric acid in the whole grain is about 0*4.

- This is the practice in the Mysore District, but in the eastern di.slricts the fields
are left untouched after harvest, with the stubbie standing, until the early rains of the
following spring.



To8 FLORA

of the sun, the dcc()m[)()silioii of water and air, and the formation of
new compounds. 'I'lic manure of the village, which is carefully and
skilfully prepared, is then spread out on the land, and incorporated
with it by a seventh ploughing, and a harrowing with an instrument
nearly resembling a large rake, drawn by oxen and guided by a boy :
when the field is completely pulverized, a drill plough, of admirable
and simple contrivance, performs the operation of sowing twelve rows
at once by means of twelve hollow bamboos at the lower end, piercing
a transverse beam at equal intervals and united at the top in a wooden
bowl, which receives the seed and feeds the twelve drills : a pole at
right angles with this beam (introduced between two oxen) is connected
with the yoke ; the bamboos project below about three inches beyond
the transverse beam, being jointed at their insertion for the purpose of
giving a true direction to the projecting parts, which being cut diagon-
ally at the end, serve, when the machine is put in motion, at once to
make the little furrow and introduce the seed : a flat board, placed
edgewise and annexed to the machine, closes the process ; levelling the
furrows and covering the seed. If the crop threatens to be too early or
too luxuriant, it is fed down with sheep. Two operations of a weeding
plough of very simple construction, at proper intervals of time, loosens
the earth about the roots and destroys the weeds ; and afterwards during
the growth of the crop, at least three hand weedings are applied. This
laborious process rewards the husbandman in good seasons with a crop
of eighty fold from the best land. The period between seed-time and
harvest is five months. There is another kind of ragi which requires
but three months. It is sown at a different season in worse ground,
and requires different treatment."

In some parts, as near Seringapatam, the ground having been
prepared in the same way, the ragi is sown broad-cast, and covered by
the plough. The field is then smoothed with the halivc, which is a
harrow or rather a large rake drawn by two bullocks. Then, if sheep
are to be had, a flock of them is repeatedly driven over the field, which
is supposed to enable it to retain the moisture ; and for this purpose
bullocks are used when sheep cannot be procured. Next day single
furrows are drawn throughout the field at the relative distance of six feet.
In these are dropped the seeds of either avare or tovari, which are
never cultivated by themselves ; nor is nigi ever cultivated without
being mixed with drills of these leguminous plants. The seed of the
avare or tovari is covered by the foot of the person who drops it into
the furrow. Fifteen days afterwards the kiuite or bullock-hoe is drawn
all over the field ; which destroys every young plant that it touches, and
brings the remainder into regular rows. On the thirty-fifth day the



RAG I 109

kiintc is drawn again, at right angles to its former direction. On the
forty-fifth day it is sometimes drawn again ; but when the two former
ones have sufficiently thinned the young corn, the third hoeing is not
necessary. At the end of the second month, the weeds should be
removed by the small iron instrument called iijari. According to the
quantity of rain, the ragi ripens in from three to four months. The
avare and tovari do not ripen till the seventh month. The reason of
sowing these plants along with the ragi seems to be that the rains
frequently fail, and then the ragi dies altogether, or at least the crop is
very scanty ; but in that case the leguminous plants resist the drought
and are ripened by the dews, which are strong in autumn. When the
ragi succeeds, the leguminous plants are oppressed by it and produce
only a small return ; but when the ragi fails, they spread wonderfully
and give a very considerable return.

In other places, as in Kolar, where the seed is sown by the drill-
I)lough, ki'/n'ge ; behind the kiirige is tied the implement called siidike,
into which is put the seed of the avare or tovari ; by this method, for
every twelve drills of ragi there is one drill of pulse. After the field
has been sown, it is harrowed with the bullock-rake called halive, and
then smoothed with a bunch of thorns, which is drawn by a bullock
and pressed down by a large stone. Here sheep are only used to
trample the ragi fields when there is a scarcity of rain. The bullock-
hoe called kunte is used on the fifteenth and eighteenth days after
sowing. On the twenty-sixth day the harrowing is repeated. On the
thirty-second the field is cleared from weeds with the implement called
oravari. In four months the ragi ripens and in five the pulses.

In the west, about Periyapatna, in very rich soils, nothing is put in
drills along with ragi ; but immediately after that grain has been cut, a
second crop of kadale is sown, which does not injure the ground.
Sometimes a second crop of same or of huchcheHu is taken ; but these
exhaust the soil much. ^Vhen rain does not come at the proper
season, the nigi fields are sown with ht/ra/i\ kadalc, huchchclju, or kari-
siiDie. The two leguminous plants do not injure the soil ; but the
huchcheUu and same render the succeeding crop of nigi very poor.

In Shimoga the ragi seed, mixed with dung, is placed very thin with
the hand in furrows drawn at the distance of about seven inches
throughout the field, a small quantity being dropped at about every
ten inches. In every seventh furrow are put the seeds o{ (ivurc, tovari^
and pinidi intermixed, or of uddu by itself.

Ragi is reaped by the sickle, and the straw is cut within four inches
of the ground. For three days the handfuls are left on the field : and
then, without being bound up in sheaves, are stacked, and the whole is



Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 14 of 98)