340 AFGHANISTAN four or five rounds, j^early, to each man. Few, if any, of the regiiueutal officers can be considered competent either to instruct or lead the troops. There are five classes of cultivators — 1st, proprietors, who cultivate their own land ; 2nd, tenants, who hire it for a rent in money or for a fixed proportion of the ]n'oduee ; 3rd, bitzgitrs, who are the same as the metayers in France ; 4th, hired labourers ; and, oth, villeins, who cultivate their lord's land without wages — i.e. slaves. There are two harvests in the year in most parts of Afghanistan. One of these is sown in the end of autumn and reaped in summer, and consists of wheat, barley, Ercum Lciis, and Gicer arietinum, with some peas and beans. The other harvest is sown in the end of spring and reaped in autumn. It consists of rice, millet, arzun (Panicum italicum), Indian corn, kc The castor-oil plant, madder, and the assafcetida plant abound. Vast quantities of assafcetida are exported to India. The fruits, viz. the apple, pear, almond, peach, quince, apricot, plum, cherry, pomegranate, grape, fig, mulberry, are produced in profuse abundance. They form the principal food of a large class of the people throughout the year, both in the fresh and preserved state, and in the latter condition are exported in great quantities. Northern Afghanistan is rejmted to be tolerably rich in copper, and lead is found in many parts. Iron of excellent quality comes from Bajaur and the Farmuli district, and gold in small quantities is brought from Kanda- har, the Laghman Hills, and Kunar. Badakshan was famous for its precious stones. The production of silks and the manufacture of felts, posthis, carpets, and rosaries are some of the principal industries. Silk is largely produced at Kandahar, as well as felts, which are distributed throughout the country, and exported to the Punjab and Persia. The sheepskin postin manufacture is one of the most important industries. The trade routes of Afghanistan are as follows : — From Persia by Mashad to Herat ; from Bokhara l^y Merv to Herat ; from Bokhara by Karchi, Balkh, and Khulm to Kabul ; from East Turkistan by Chitral to Jalalabad ; from India by the Khaibar and Abkhana roads to Kabul ; from India by the Gumal Pass to Ghazni ; from India by the Bolan Pass and Sind-Pishin Railway to Kandahar. Trade. No accurate registration of the trade between Afghanistan and India has yet been obtained. The trade between Northern Afghanistan (Kabul) and India, during the past five years ending March 31, has been registered as follows : — . Rx. . Rx. . Rx. . Rx. . Rx. Ex}>orts from India to Kabul Imports into India from ,, ,200 188,800 ,575 152,791 ,230 165,000 ,162 151,538 ,000 101,463 Of the above imports, the chief items are cotton goods, indigo, sugar, and tea, mostly the China leaf. The exports iiiclude horses, spices, assafcetida, fruits, and nuts. The heavy transit duties levied by the Amir prohibit transit trade between India and the country north of the Oxus. A duty of 106 rupees is levied on every camel load (about 45011)S.) of Indian tea passing through Kabul to Bokhara. The trade between Kandahar and British India amounted in 1897-98 to Rx. 163,78.5 imports into, and Rx. 309,300 exports from British India. Three fifths ot th^ import-s consist ot c;otton piece ^oods, foreign and Indian. The
Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/688
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