The economy of Cuttack is largely based on agriculture. About 76% of total population of the district draw their living from the agricultural sector. Since the rivers are rainfed, most of the time the cultivators have to depend on the irrigation. As a result majority of the gross cultivated land are irrigated. Rice, pulses, oil seeds, jute, Mesta, sugarcane, coconut and turmeric are important crops. The food crops mainly served the domestic requirements of the local people. The share of cash crops is no less important in the economic scenario of Cuttack. Most of the cash crops are exported which contributes to Cuttack`s economy on a large scale. District wise jute ranks second in Cuttack and the significant portion of the production of rice in Orissa comes from Cuttack. The national market of rice and jute highly supports the economy of Cuttack.
In the recent times, floods, droughts, low yield per hectare and division and fragmentation of holidays are the most important problems, which hinders the agricultural economy of Cuttack. The irrigation facility has been implemented in the planning period to meet the infrastructural demands, which induced a booming progress in the economy of Cuttack in the following years.
With the commencement of the financial years the Government was seriously considering the task of consolidating the foundation of shattered economy of India. A number of plans and schemes were implemented in several districts and provinces, of which Cuttack was one, to uplift their economic status. Right from that time the agro climatic region of Cuttack has been the key input for the development of agriculture, which in the long run supports the economy of Cuttack. In the recent years, the State government has proposed for the profitable utilization of the wasteland and the hilly areas, which are not conducive for the growth of the traditional crops. Hence the inland hilly areas of Cuttack presently are used for the cultivation of rubber. The primary benefit of the rubber cultivation is that the whole of the product is being exported, which provide a considerable amount to the economy of Cuttack.
Prawn Culture, in Cuttack has assumed a great deal of significance in 1982-83, following the brackish water prawn culture. Recently, Orissa Shrimp Seed Production Center (OSSP) has been established in Orissa, which controls the entire operation of the prawn culture. However the prawn cultivation presently demands an important position in the economic scenario of Cuttack.
On the sound foundation of agricultural economy, the industries provide a part of Cuttack`s financial set up. The medium scale engineering industry is the heart of the industrial economy of Cuttack. The storage of economically important mineral in close proximity, served the industries of Cuttack to a large extent. Moreover the river port of Paradeep provides a well-knit transport facility, which ensures the easy transport of the produced goods. However the allied industries of the agricultural sector and the small-scale cottage industries in the interior zones contribute to the economy of Cuttack. However the industrial sectors do not support the economy of Cuttack to the extent of agriculture. The industries, instead of participating in the export operations, mainly provide employment to the bulk of workforce in the core of Cuttack district and served the domestic economy of Cuttack.