The prosperity of the Harappan civilization was based on its flourishing economic activities such as agriculture, arts and crafts, and trade. The availability of fertile Indus alluvium contributed to the surplus in agricultural production.
It helped the Harappan people to indulge in exchange, both internal and external, with others and also develop crafts and industries. Agriculture along with pastoralism (cattle-rearing) was the base of Harappan economy.
The granaries discovered at sites like Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Lothal served as the storehouses for grains. We do not have any clear evidence of the tools used for agriculture. However, the furrows or plough-marks have been observed in a field at Kalibangan. These indicate plough cultivation.
A terracotta plough has also been reported from Banawali in Hissar district of Haryana. The irrigation was carried on a small scale by drawing water from wells or by diverting river water into channels.
The chief food crops included wheat, barley, sesasum, mustard, peas, jejube, etc. The evidence for rice has come from Lothal and Rangpur in the form of husks embedded in pottery.
Cotton was another important crop. A piece of woven cloth has been found at Mohenjodaro. Apart from cereals, fish and animal meat also formed a part of the Harappan diet.