Why did Indian peasants begin to agitate against the low prices of opium?
- The British would procure opium at cheap rates. They would sell it at a high price to the opium agents in Calcutta, who then shipped it to China.
- This difference between the buying and selling price was the government’s opium revenue.
- The prices given to the peasants were so low that by the early 18th century, angry peasants began agitating for higher prices and refused to take advances.
- SomecultivatorsaroundBenarasstoppedcultivatingopiumandstartedproducingsugarcane and potato instead. Some cultivators sold off their opium crop to travelling traders called Pykars, who offered them higher prices.