The Mauryan State took great care to promote agriculture. It extended agriculture by encouraging the surplus population to settle down at new or abandoned tracts for cultivation.
The land-revenue on agricultural land varied from one-fourth to one-sixth of the produce. Villages were well organised from the fiscal point of view and cultivable land and pastures were carefully surveyed.
Among the crops grown in the villages are mentioned rice of different varieties, coarse grain (Kodrava), sesamum, pepper and saffron, pulses, wheat, linseed, mustard, vegetables and fruits of various kinds, and sugarcane. The government set up model farms which were of great use for the improvement of agriculture in the country. The State maintained cattle-farms, stud-farms and dairy farms.
Irrigation was the concern of the State as an important source of revenue derived from the water-rates levied in accordance with the means of irrigation employed. Grants of land without right of alienation were made to rural officers. The village life was built upon the basis of private property, security of life and property, communications and public works.