As population increased over the centuries and the demand for food went up ,peasants extended the boundaries of cultivation, clearing forests and breaking newland.The British directly encouraged the production of commercial crops like jute, sugar,wheat and cotton.In the early nineteenth century, the colonial state thought that forests wereunproductive. They were considered to be wilderness that had to be brought undercultivation so that the land could yield agricultural products and revenue, and enhancethe income of the state.