Compilation of Agricultural Production Data in
Areas Currently in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh from
1901/02 to 2001/02

Takashi Kurosaki

February 2011


This paper presents estimates for agricultural production data in areas currently in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh from 1901/02 to 2001/02. A salient feature of these estimates is that they correspond to current international borders. The British Empire of India, which was broken up in 1947 (in the so-called “Partition” of the Indian subcontinent), covered areas of what are now India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Although a rich accumulation of statistical documents is available from the colonial period, there has been no rigorous attempt to compile statistics corresponding to the current borders during a period that includes years prior to 1947. This is because the Partition broke up the Empire of India not only at the provincial level (for which data are readily available) but also at the district or lower levels of administration. This paper is an attempt to fill this gap, focusing on production in crop farming in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Since neither the states of Pakistan and Bangladesh nor the concept of such nations existed during the early decades of the twentieth century, this exercise is hypothetical to some extent. Nevertheless, because farming activities are carried out on the soil of a region irrespective of its political designation, the estimates presented in this paper could shed new light on agricultural development in the three countries over the long term.

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