1. Population losses.
2. Adverse impact on agricultural production.
3. Impact on rural poor like landless agricultural workers, artisans and
4. Other results such as reduced purchasing power, decline in trade and
industries, decline in land revenue and other taxes, additional
expenditure to government on account of famine relief works.
D. History of Famines in India
1. The earliest famine under the Company’s rule occurred in l770 in
Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
2. In 1790-93 there was a serious famine engulfing Bombay, Gujarat,
Northern Circars, Orissa and parts of Madras.
3. During 1806-07 a famine again affected Madras and Camatic.
4. After Revolt of 1857, agriculture remained unsettled for some years.
In 1860 famine conditions prevailed in U.P., Ajmer and eastern
5. The famine of 1866-67 affected Madras, Orissa, Bengal and Bihar.
Government set up a committee under Campbell. His report was first
detailed report on famines and on famine-relief policy.
6. In 1876-78, when North India faced famine conditions, Government
of India set up the First Famine Commission under Strachey.
7. The famine of 1896-97 led to appointment of the Second Famine
Commission under Lyall.
8. The famine of 1899-1900 led to appointment of the Third Famine
Commission under MacDonnell.
9. The famine in Bengal in 1943 was major disaster in which about 3
million people died. This was a "man-made famine". Woodhead
Commission was appointed in 1944 to enquire into its causes.
10. The famines of 1876-78 and 1896-97 were famines of all-India
nature. As years passed, and experience gained, the Government"s
famine relief machinery and famine relief measures became more
efficient and effective.