Village Common Land, Manure, Fodder, and Intensive Agricultural Practices in Tamil Nadu from the Mid-Nineteenth Century
From the end of the nineteenth century, despite the decline in village common land which had previously supported agrarian production, South Indian farmers managed to maintain agrarian productivity, and partially succeeded in raising it. They did so by resorting to more intensive methods of production, based on the wider use of commercially available manures and on the planting of green manure. The growth of trade in manure and the movement of animals that developed across the Tamil districts facilitated new methods of raising yields. A sharp decline in the prices of agricultural products in the 1930s hampered the further spread of using manure, and resulted in a decline in the productivity of paddy cultivation. There are interesting points of comparison in this regard between the South Indian case and the case of common land in early modern Japan.
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