A GRICUL TURE
The District is more densely populated than any other in Berar.
More than 76 per cent. of the people are Hindus. The language of the
people generally is Marathi; but the Musalmans, who number 49,000,
speak a corrupt dialect of Urdu which is generally understood by all.
The Kunbis, who number 159,000, or more than 25 per cent. of the
total, are the most important caste in Amraoti, as in all Districts of
Berar. The Malis (56,000) are also an important cultivating caste.
The Mahars (96,000) come next to the Kunbis in point of numbers;
the Malls, already mentioned, come third; and the Musalmans (49,ooo)
fourth. The Tells (26,000) are more than twice as numerous as in
any other District in Berar, except Wun. Brahmans number 20,000.
As might be expected from the preponderance of agricultural castes
the proportion of the population dependent on the land is very large
being as high as 72 per cent. Industries support nearly 14 per cent.
of the total.
There is one Roman Catholic mission in the District, at Amraoti,
under the charge of the Order of St. Francis of Sales, and in the
jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Nagpur. The Protestant
missions are the Alliance Mission, the United Free Church Mission, the
American Free Methodist Mission, and the Christian and Missionary
Alliance. Of the 782 Christians enumerated in the District in I901g
436 were natives, of whom more than half were Roman Catholics.
The District lies wholly within the Payanghat (see BERAR) and is
generally fertile; but the soil in the neighbourhood of the rocky hills
between Amraoti and Chandur, and in the tract at
the foot of the Gawilgarh hills in the north of the
Morsi tdluk, is lighter and more stony than in the rest of the District
resembling in character the soil of the Balaghat.
Land is held almost entirely on ryotwdri tenures, the area covered
by jagir villages being only 36 square miles. The principal statistics
in 1903-4 are shown below, areas being in square miles:-
Total. Cultivated. Irrigated. Cultivale Forest.
2,760 2,3-3+ I 1 244
The staple food-grain is joziwr, the area under which in I903-4 was
898 square miles. Wheat occupied 126, and pulses 97 square miles.
The principal crop from the point of view of profit to the cultivator is
cotton, which covered I,075 square miles. Oilseeds, the chief of
which is linseed, were sown on 44 square miles.
The extension of agriculture has been continuous since the assignment
in I853, but nothing has been done for the improvement of agriculture
from a scientific point of view. On the contrary, the quality of the