THE recent decision of the British Government to devote 11 million sterling, which works out at an average of one pound for every acre of arable land, to subsidise agriculture brings into bold relief the very different attitude adopted by the Government in India towards the improvement of agricultural conditions in this country and constitutes one further illustration of how a national government proceeds to foster the industries of the country. In spite of the fact that agriculture is the staple industry of India, in which an overwhelming majority of her population is engaged, and from which the bulk of her revenue is derived, precious little has been done by the government so far to improve the conditions of agriculture or increase the yield of land. The introduction of scientific implements of agriculture or improved manure and seeds has not so far proceeded to an appreciable extent, though talk about them has been going on now for about half a century. Similarly, the application of principles such as co-operative selling and buying, which are so largely responsible for the prosperity of the agricultural classes of other countries, are unknown in India. Expensive experiments, the results of which are never made popular, or lavishly paid establishments, of which nobody knows anything except through the publication of costly volumes in a foreign language, cannot do any material good. What is wanted is to offer direct instruction, assistance and inducement to the farmer to improve the quality and quantity of the yield of his land.
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