BANKING TRADE AND COMMERCE

EXPORTS

The old Sholapur District Gazetteer has the following to say about exports:—

"The chief exports are of vegetable products, cotton, grain, oilseed, and earthnuts; of animal products honey, wax, lac, and hides and horns; and of manufactured articles cloth, carts, indigo, oil, and clarified butter. The following are the chief details regarding exports:—Little cotton is grown in Sholapur. Almost the whole local supply of cotton is used in local spinning and weaving and in some sub-divisions the quantity grown is not enough to meet the local demand. Almost all the cotton exported comes from outside of the district. Sholapur and Barsi are the two chief cotton marts. The chief cotton traders are Bombay Bhatias and some local Lingayats, Komtis, Gujars, and Marwaris. Till about 1870 Sholapur was the only large cotton mart. Since 1870 Barsi has taken most of the cotton trade of Sholapur and is now the first cotton mart in the district. Of the cotton which once drew to Sholapur a number of European and native merchants from Bombay, most came from the north and north-east of the Nizam's territory as well as from Belari, Talikoti, and other parts of the Bombay Karnatak in the south. At Sholapur, about 1866, when steam presses were erected, the cotton sent by rail and road to Bombay amounted to 28,000 full-pressed bales and 80,000 bundles a year. About this time, the railway rates for salt and piece-goods being higher than at present, Bombay salt and piece-goods came to Sholapur in carts from Panvel at a cheaper cost than by rail; these carts on return took cotton to Panvel at a cheaper cost than by rail. Since then the railway rates on salt and piece-goods were reduced to secure the export of Sholapur cotton by rail, and not a single cart-load of cotton now goes by road from Sholapur to Panvel. In the city of Sholapur, till about 1870, cotton used to be sold through middlemen or adatyas, of whom there are forty. Of these forty middlemen, fifteen are rich money-lenders owning large cotton godowns, and twenty-five are grain dealers who keep their consignments of cotton near and round their shops. In the cotton-growing districts of the Nizam's territory and in Talikoti and Belari whence cotton came to Sholapur the husbandmen generally sold their cotton to local dealers. When they had enough cotton, these local dealers sent it in charge of one of their number to Sholapur to be sold through brokers or adatyas. Sometimes when the price offered by the local dealers was too low, the husbandmen of the cotton-growing districts clubbed together and themselves sent the cotton to the Sholapur brokers. Between 1866 and 1868 when cotton came in large quantities to Sholapur, about three-fourths was brought by the local Lingayat Vani dealers of the cotton-growing districts. The fall of the Sholapur cotton trade is chiefly due to two causes, as the Sholapur brokers began to take from each bundle or dokra, a considerable quantity of cotton as a toll or dasturi, the cotton dealers of the Nizam's territory made Barsi their chief cotton mart. The other cause was that when the Peninsula Railway was carried to Raichur, the cotton dealers of the Bombay Karnatak began to send cotton from stations nearer the cotton land than Sholapur. Still, at present (1884) a considerable quantity of cotton comes to Sholapur from Bagalkot, Hungund, Muddebihal, and Talikoti in Bijapur........... When the trade in the Nizam's country cotton left Sholapur the steam presses were moved from Sholapur to Barsi. Most Bombay traders also went to Barsi which became the chief cotton mart. Barsi lies forty-seven miles north of Sholapur and has about 10,000 people. It has a large trade in cotton and linseed. Cotton comes to Barsi chiefly from Dignor, Dismatt, Khamdabar, Kirkeli, Madnor, Makair, Nandiar, Parli, and Unvir in the Nizam's territory. At Barsi cotton is bought and sold in two ways. Either the local dealers or husbandmen of the cotton-growing districts themselves bring the cotton to the market and sell it through brokers or adatyas in the same way as at Sholapur; or after the Diwaii holidays, that is, in the beginning of the Hindu new year in October-November, the native traders or their agents or gumastas start from Bombay or Barsi for the cotton-growing districts of the Nizam's dominions.............

Miscellaneous: Of other exports under grain come jvari, bajri, wheat, gram, and pulse. Jvari and wheat are largely sent to Bombay from the Sholapur and Barsi Road stations. In an ordinary year the greatest export of grain averages about 1,27,000 tons, chiefly from Sholapur and Barsi. Of oilseeds, linseed, which grows to a considerable extent in the district, is largely sent to Bombay generally by Bhatias and sometimes by Lingayat, Komti, Gujar and Marwari traders of Sholapur and Barsi. In Sholapur linseed sells at about twenty-five pounds (8 shers) the rupee, and the cost of carriage from Sholapur to Bombay is 14s. to 16s. (Rs. 7 to Rs. 8) the khandi.............. At Sholapur, Barsi, Karmala, and Pandharpur country cloth is woven by a large number of Salis or Koshtis. From the Salis the cloth is generally bought by local traders on market days and is partly used locally and partly sent to Poona, Ahmadnagar, and Bombay.

The extension of the Peninsula Railway to Sholapur in 1860 and to Raichur in 1870, has much reduced the cart and pack bullock traffic which went from Sholapur in the east towards the Nizam's territory and in the west towards Bombay by Panvel. By the opening of the East Deccan Railway from Hotgi in Sholapur to Gadag in Dharwar this traffic will further be reduced towards the south and Sholapur will surfer as a trade centre." [Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency, Volume XX, Sholapur 1884, pp. 264-66.]

Since the publication of the old Sholapur Gazetteer, the composition of export trade has changed considerably. Cotton which was formerly an important item of export has yielded to jowar. Jowar is probably the most important item of export trade. The Sholapur jowar enjoys a good reputation in the markets in the State. The other items of export trade are bajri, sugar, ground-nut, pulses and cotton textiles. The following paragraphs give a description of the direction and structure of export trade of principal commodities in the district:—

Jowar is the principal crop of the district. The district accounts for more than 30 per cent of the out-turn of jowar in Pune Division and for 12 per cent of total area under the crop in the State. The area under jowar cultivation was 7,99,880 hectares in 1965-66, of which 2,257 and 7,97,623 hectares were under kharif and rabi jowar, respectively. The total quantity of jowar collected under the Monopoly Procurement Scheme in the district was 1,24,983 quintals [This is exclusive of the jowar collected at Barsi and Kurduwadi markets.] valued at Rs. 72,91,078 in the year 1968-69. The Maharashtra State Co-operative Marketing Federation is the sole agent of Government which purchases jowar at the respective markets in the district. The main varieties of jowar prevalent in the market are Maldandi, Dagadi and Jagali. The other important commodities exported are bajri, sugar, ground-nut and cotton. Cotton is cultivated in a few talukas in the district and only 0.9 per cent of the total area is under the cultivation of cotton. The entire produce is brought to Sholapur for ginning and pressing. The other important commodities are sugar and gur. In the last few years the production of sugar increased because of the establishment of new sugar factories.

Sholapur is not a surplus district in regard to food-grains other than jowar. Many a time the district has to import food-grains from outside to meet the local demand. But even then the export of some articles such as jowar, bajri, gram and ground-nut takes place. Most of the exports are sent to Bombay, Pune, Madras and Hyderabad.

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