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Crops for Europe

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Crops for Europe - Lesson Summary

The East India Company introduced many land revenue systems and forced cultivators to grow opium, tea, sugarcane, jute, rice, cotton, wheat and indigo for export to Europe.

Indigo cultivation was the most popular due to its high demand in the European markets during the British Rule. As it was priced high, only small amounts reached these countries, and so the Europeans had to use the dye from a plant called woad.

However, between 1783 and 1789 the indigo supply from America and West Indies almost came to an end, and the indigo production in the world fell by half.

To meet the excessive demand for indigo in Europe, the Company encouraged indigo farming in Bengal. Indigo from Bengal became famous the world over and the share of Indian indigo in the total indigo import of Britain increased from 30% in 1778 to 95% in 1810.

Expansion in the indigo cultivation prompted many Company officials to start indigo business in India.


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