BANKING TRADE AND COMMERCE
Cotton is by far the most important item of export from Dhulia district. The agronomic and climatic conditions in the district are highly suitable for the crop. Following is a vivid account of the export trade in cotton given in the Khandesh Gazetteer [Ibid.] published in 1880.
"Cotton is the chief article of export, representing in quantity about 115,000 bales, and in value about £ 10,50,000 (Rs. 1,05,00,000). At the beginning of British rule, the only local cotton was the poor short-stapled variety known as Varhadi. Except to Surat little was exported. The trade was in the hands of petty dealers who stored the cotton in warehouses. Vakhars had it cleaned on native hand gins, churaks, and sold it to the local handloom weavers. In 1824, the opening of an export trade to Bombay had the effect of transferring the cotton trade from small dealers to men of capital, many of them Bombay merchants. [Chapman's Commerce, 75.] The new trade did much for the country by providing a market for cotton when the competition of English goods had reduced the handloom weavers' demand. At, the same time the carriage to Bombay was at first both costly and wasteful. Loosely packed and taken chiefly on bullock back over rough unbridged roads, the cotton lost greatly both in quantity and quality...... His cotton yielded the grower little more than
1 d. the pound.[Chapman's Commerce. 85. This price did not pay the people, and the cultivators grew grain instead of cotton.] Besides injury on the road, cotton suffered much at many stages of its progress. The grower, hopelessly indebted, gave little care to his cotton crop; and its value was further lessened by adulteration at the hands of middlemen ". [Chapman's Commerce, 91, According to Mr. Elphinstone, in I848 (East India Papers, III 77) the merchant advanced money to the cultivator on the security of his growing crop, the cultivator agreeing to deliver his cotton and have from, ten to fifteen per cent, of its market price deducted in payment of the advance. It was believed that many merchants charged a still heavier rate for their advances.]
"Since 1860, the introduction of Umravati and Dharwar-American seed cotton has greatly raised the value of the Khandesh crop......"
"Of late years the cotton trade has to a great extent gone back to the system of advances that was universal before the prosperous years of the American war. Europeans have made little way in Khandesh and the trade is still almost entirely in native hands. The only change has been the introduction of a new class of native merchants, the Bombay Bhatias, who to a large extent buy both from local dealers and from growers, and press the cotton for direct shipment to England. According to the common practice, from September to the end of April, growers and petty dealers go to the exporters, and contract to deliver a certain quantity of cotton within a given period......"
"A comparison of prices and cost of exporting cotton in 1847 and 1879 shows that in the last thirty years' the value paid for cotton in Khandesh has risen from 1 d. or 1½ d. to 5 d. or 6 d. the pound. In 1847 the local price of cotton was £ 16 s. 5½ d. (Rs. 13-3-8) a Khandi of 784 pounds. The cost of cleaning was, by the native charak, 18 s. (Rs. 9) a Khandi, and 9 s. (Rs. 4½) by saw-gins. The current (1879) price of Khandesh standard cotton, Jalgaon Gavrani is £ 18 16 s. (Rs. 188) the Khandi of 784 pounds. Faizpur cotton which is rare fetches about 12s. (Rs. 6) more......"
Even now cotton remains the most important commodity exported from the district. Bombay is the principal mart of the cotton export. Nearly 80 per cent of the total export find their way to Bombay, whereas the rest of the cargo goes to Surat, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Amalner, Chalisgaon, Indore, and Kanpur. Bulk of cotton, ginned and pressed, goes outside the district from Dhulia, Dondaicha, Nan-durbar, Shirpur, Taloda and Nawapur. The average yearly volume of exports is reported to be 8,000 bales from Dondaicha, 8,450 bales from Nandurbar, [1,25,000 maunds of cotton was exported; from Nandurbar in
1960-61. ] 25,000 bales from Nawapur and 30,000 bales from Shirpur. The average volume of exports from Dondaicha has declined from 20,000 to 8,000 bales per annum, because of the diversion of cotton arrivals to the neighbouring markets in the district.
As cotton trade is regulated under the Bombay Agricultural Markets Act, licensed merchants have to purchase raw cotton from the agriculturists, under the supervision of the market committee.
The merchants get it ginned and pressed [Ginning charge per quintal amounts to above Rs. 7, and pressing charge
to about Rs. 14 per bale. ] at the local ginning and pressing factories. There are ten ginning and pressing factories it Dhulia, five at Dondaicha. seven at Shirpur, three at Nandurbar and two at Nawapur. The local merchants export the bales to Bombay. Bulk of the merchandise to Bombay and Surat is transported by motor trucks. Transport by railways is, however, by no means inconsiderable.
Virnar and Cambodia (CO2) are the principal varieies of Dhulia cotton. Cambodia is a long staple variety, whereas Virnar has medium staple length. Cambodia commands better price and gives higher yields. A high yielding long staple hybrid varietiy H-4 has recently been introduced on a large scale.
The fluctuations in the price of cotton are in consonance with the prices ruling at Bombay. Cotton trade is brisk during the period between November and March.
Dhulia district is affluent in groundnut trade since the past. Groundnut has always been an important commercial crop [The principal variety of groundnut trade in the district is called Vatani. ] in the district. The commodity is traded on a very large scale at Dhulia, Dondaicha, Nandurbar and Shirpur. [The turnover of groundnut trade at the various markets is given in the
section on Regulated Markets.]
Nearly 80 per cent, of the groundnut is processed in the local oil mills where oil is extracted. The oil mills are the principal purchasers of groundnut. Generally farmers sell their produce to mill owners and other merchants in October, November and December, as they have no facilities of proper storage.
Groundnut oil is chiefly exported to Bombay, Amalner, Pachora, Jalgaon, Tatanagar, Delhi, Agra and Dalmianagar. Groundnut seed is exported to Bombay, Surat, Jalgaon, Amalner, Shegaon, etc. Oil is highly in demand from the vegetable oil factories in Jalgeon district and Bombay. Groundnut cake is sent to Ahmednagar, Kopargaon, Nasik and Bhusawal. As per the estimates arrived at by
the Market Committee 3,50,000 Bengali maunds of groundnut was exported from Nandurbar in 1959-60. The figure for 1960-61 was estimated to be 4,00,000 Bengali maunds.
There are a number of oil crushing mills in the district.
Business is brisk during the period between November and January. The prices are however, usually higher after April, and subject to violent fluctuations due to speculative activities in the market, as a result of which cultivators often get lower prices. The forward market activities, especially at Bombay, have a great impact on groundnut prices in the local markets.
The freight charge for a quintal of groundnut from the district to Bombay is about Rs. 6 by motor trucks. The cargo is mainly transported by road.
Foodgrains constitute a significant proportion of the total wholesale trade and the exports from the district. After meeting the needs of consumption in the district, jowar, tur, wheat, udid, mug and bajra are sent outside in large quantities. Since the introduction of monopoly procurement of jowar and rice, sale and purchase of these grains on private account are banned completely. The government, through its agencies, procures jowar from the producers, and distributes the same through fair price shops. In what follows is. given an account of the normal channels of trade which prevailed before introduction of the monopoly procurement of jowar and rice.
The principal markets of jowar trade before the monopoly procurement system were Nandurbar, Shirpur, Dondaicha, Dhulia, Shahada and Taloda. Besides there was a large trade in jowar at Nawapur, Sakri, Nardhana and Betawad. The average annual production of rabi jowar (dadar) exceeded two lakhs of quintals. The main trade was in rabi jowar. Kharif jowar was locally consumed, and traded on a small scale. Jowar of superior quality (rabi jowar) used to be exported to Bombay, Gujarat, Poona, Sholapur, Lonand, Phaltan, etc. The Nandurbar Market Committee estimated the export of jowar from Nandurbar market during 1959-60 at 1,25,000 Bengali maunds. The corresponding figure for 1960-61 was estimated at 1,75,000 Bengali maunds. Nearly 65 per cent, of the jowar produced in the district was exported outside. There were about 50 wholesale dealers at Nandurbar, 30 at Dondaicha, 50 at Dhulia, 15 at Shirpur, 5 at Shahada and 10 at Taloda. Of the wholesale dealers at the respective markets, nearly 50 were jowar exporters from Nandurbar, 10 from Dondaicha, 12 from Dhulia, 15 from Shirpur and 3 from Shahada.
The fluctuations in the price of jowar were mainly in consonance with the change in prices prevailing at Bombay. The cargo to Bombay was mainly sent by motor trucks, the transportation charge for one quintal being about Rs. 3 from Dhulia to Bombay. The traders reported that the turnover of trade had increased (in 1962-63) by about 30 per cent, since the World War II.
The other foodgrains of commercial importance are bajra, wheat, udid, mug and tur. From the point of view of turnover, the below mentioned markets in the district are notable for the trade in the commodities mentioned against them.
Dhulia; Bajra and wheat.
Nandurbar: Tur, wheat, gram and bajra.
Dondaicha: Mug, udid and wheat.
Shirpur: Mug and gram.
Shahada: Bajra, udid, mug and wheat.
Udid is exported to Bombay, Madras, Madurai, Salem, Tuticorin, Trichnopoly, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Assam and Gujarat Mug is sent to Bombay, Assam, Delhi, Punjab and Gujarat. Chavali is exported to Bombay and Gujarat. Nearly 75 per cent, of the total production of udid, 80 per cent, of mug and 60 per cent, of wheat is exported outside the district. Bulk of the bajra produced is locally consumed.
Tur, an important item of trade at Nandurbar and Nawapur, is exported to Bombay, Surat, Ahmedabad, Madhi and Vyara. The exports from Nadurbar were to the tune of 60,000 Bengali maunds in 1960-61. Nawapur exports an annual average of 30,000 quintals of tur and tur dal. The pulse known as Surati dal in the Bombay market comes to Bombay from Nandurbar and Nawapur via Surat.
There is an association of foodgrain dealers at Dhullia. The association with a membership of 55 is affiliated to the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the All India Food-grain Dealers Federation. The association looks after the interests Of the foodgrain merchants.
Besides the principal items of export enumerated above, a number of other commodities are also exported from the district. Udid, an important pulse, is exported to distant markets such as, Bombay, Madurai, Salem, Tuticorin, Trichinopoly, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Madras, Cochin, Surat, Bulsar, Ahmedabad, Baroda and Broach. Mug is exported to Bombay, Madras, Madurai, Salem, Cochin, Delhi, Kanpur, Wardha, Saurashtra, Rajkot, Junagad, Porbander, Surat, Ahmedabad, Bulsar, Baroda, Navsari, and Poona. Math is sent mainly to Bombay, Poona and Madras; Chavali to Bombay, Surat, Bulsar, Ahmedabad, Broach and Vyara. Tur finds its way to Surat, Ahmedabad, Madhi, Vyara and Bombay. Nandurbar is the greatest exporting centre of tur and tur dal, from where it is chiefly exported to Bombay and Surat. The dal which is famous as Surati dal at Bombay actually comes from Nandurbar side. Cotton seed finds a good market at Bombay, Tatanagar, Pachora and Amalner. Cotton seed is used as a cattle feed. The oil extracted from cotton seed, is very rich in vitamin contents and is used in the manufacture of hydrogenated oils. Milk, ghee and butter are sent to Bombay by trucks and rail practically daily. Agents of the dealers at Bombay collect milk and milk products from the local producers and book the consignments to Bombay. In fact the 'Khandesh ghee' has earned a very good name for itself in the outside markets.
Hides and horns are sent in considerable quantities to Bombay. Rosha grass oil which is highly in demand in Western countries is exported to Bombay. This oil, used in the manufacture of perfumes and medicines, is a good foreign exchange earner. Charoli, the seed of Char, Buchanania Latifolia, much used in making sweetmeats, is largely exported from Akrani area to Surat and Bombay. Myro-balans found chiefly in the Taloda forests are sent principally by rail
to Bombay and Surat. Some quantity of lac is exported to Burhanpur. Carts, made chiefly in Taloda, Pimpalner and Dhulia are in demand at Burhanpur and Jalgaon.