The earliest evidence of agriculture in the Indian subcontinent is found in Mehrgarh, Pakistan’s province of Baluchistan (Earlier Part Of The United India). According to the archaeological evidence, wheat and barley were cultivated from 8000-6000 BCE. Some research also claims that agricultural practices started in India around 9000 BC, when native people started cultivating and domesticating local crops. 


Well before the cultivation of crops, Indian people in Mehrgarh started domesticating cattle, sheep, and goats; hence, they were the first cattle herders. Strong evidence suggests that neolithic agriculture spread from the Near East into north-west India. The Indian agriculture system is known worldwide for its ancient natural farming techniques, sophisticated irrigation systems, and crop diversity. 

According to the Vedic texts, a wide range of cereals, vegetables, and fruits were cultivated in India. Animal husbandry was an integral part of a farmer’s life, and people used to consume milk and meat products. Farmers used to plow the field and sow seeds by the broadcasting method, and they used cow dung manure to fertilize their field. During the Mauryan Empire (322–185 BCE), soils were categorized according to meteorological observations for agricultural use.

Still today, after so many foreign invasions and destructions, India is an agriculturally dominant country. It is the largest producer of milk, pulses, and jute and the second largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, vegetables, fruit, and cotton in the world. However, due to the low land holding capacity, lack of adequate knowledge about modern and effective farming practices, poor marketing strategy, inadequate storage facilities, etc., India is not able to reach the full agricultural potential that it enjoyed in the past. 

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