NCERT Class 9 Social Science Exemplar Chapter-6 Peasants and Farmers Questions and Answers Part 2

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Question 6: What were the advantages and disadvantages of the use of mechanical harvesting machines in the USA?

Answer: Combined harvester saved time and manual labour for the farmers. It helped in managing huge farms with minimum number of workers. It improved productivity and profitability of big farmers. Many poor farmers fell in debt trap because they could not utilize the combined harvester to its full potential. Many of them deserted their farmland and turned into labourers.

Question 7: What lessons can we draw from the conversion of the countryside in the USA from a bread basket to a dust bowl?

Answer: The conversion of USA countryside from a bread basket to a dust bowl teaches the importance of conservation of the ecosystem. Human development cannot take place at the cost of natural environment.

Question 8: Write a paragraph on why the British insisted on farmers growing opium in India.

Answer: The British were heavily dependent on China for tea imports. Since the Chinese authority did not allow foreign goods, so the British had to pay for tea in silver and bullions. This had the potential danger of siphoning off the treasure of Britain. Opium could be easily smuggled into China because of a large number of opium addicts. Profit from opium trade could be utilised to finance the tea imports. Hence, the British insisted on farmers to grow opium in India.

Question 9: Why were Indian farmers reluctant to grow opium?

Answer: Opium production required the use of the best lands which meant diversion of land from cereal and pulses production. Opium cultivation was time consuming which left little time to care for other crops. Most of the farmers did not own land and they had to lease a land for growing opium. The British offered very low price of opium to the peasants. These are the various reasons for Indian farmers’ reluctance to grow opium.

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