Institute for Social and Economic Change

Established in 1972 by Professor V K R V Rao, ISEC is an All-India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences

Agriculture in Karnataka: A Historical View After the Fall of Serirangapatana – isec

Agriculture in Karnataka: A Historical View After the Fall of Serirangapatana


Not many authors have analysed the economic history of Karnataka and rarely do we find any systematic account of agriculture in the available historical material. Dr. Francis Buchanan’s travelogue provides excellent material for this. Dr. Buchanan traveled through the Mysore State after the fall of Tippu Sultan with a mandate from the British Governor to understand the people, culture and agriculture of the region under Sultan’s regime Buchanan being a Botanist and a medical practitioner had a penchant for details and ihe three volumes he drafted during the year of his travel bring out these details quite succinctly. These are about agriculture, people and culture of the erstwhile Mysore State. The focus of this paper is to understand agricultural organisation that prevailed during that period through a lens of present day’s agriculture. The paper opens with an objective to unravel the historical details as provided by Dr Francis Buchanan and reaches to compare the situation with today’s structure. It brings out quite a few interesting issues like land tenure, organic farming, crop diversity and learning from the history of agriculture.

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