What were the causes, of flourishing agriculture in the post-Gupta times?

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In fact, in no other period of Indian ‘history agriculture made so much of progress as was evident in the post-Gupta period. There were various factors responsible for the agricultural advancement.

Under the Guptas there was economic advancement of the country. This is evident from the flourishing agriculture, growth of artisans industries and foreign trade. It is known from various sources that both food-crops and cash-crops were grown in plenty. There is reference to a good variety of crops in the contemporary texts.

So far as artisan industries are concerned we have reference to carpentry, weaving, etc. Under the Guptas India had a flourishing external trade. Indian luxury goods were exported in huge quantity to the Roman Empire. And in lieu of the export gold and silver used to flow into the country.

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The convincing example of the economic progress under the Guptas was that the Gupta rulers circulated huge quantity of gold coins at least up to 550 AD. In the post-Gupta period trade and commerce languished. But in the same period we find that agriculture made tremendous progress.

In fact, in no other period of Indian ‘history agriculture made so much of progress as was evident in the post-Gupta period. There were various factors responsible for the agricultural advancement. First, land-grants became very common during the post-Gupta period. The land-grants in a way were responsible for the growth of “agriculture.

For, in most of the cases fallow lands were given in grants to the Brahmins, temples, monasteries, etc. Thus fallow lands came to be transformed into fertile areas in which good quantity of crops were grown. Thus there was an extension of agriculture.

Second, with the decline of the urban centers the artisans attached various industries lost their jobs and forced to migrate to village these artisans, experts in making tools and implements, supplied to peasants new equipments which were more effective. Thus use improved agricultural implements helped the growth of agriculture

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Third, the improved irrigation system was also an important fact in the growth of agriculture during the period. Deep-well, Araghah etc. helped agriculture considerably. Fourth, the use of big plough (brihadhala) and use of fertilizer also were responsible for the increase in the crop production.

Fifth, it has been pointed out D.M. Bose that in the post-Gupta period the use of good quality seeds became very common. This also paved the way for progress in agriculture during the period under review.

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