The economy of the Ganjam
district is supported by both industry and agriculture. Ganjam is one of those districts in the state of Orissa, which are privileged both in industry and agriculture.
The Ganjam district is known for its fertile soil and agricultural productivity. The agricultural sector supplies about 75 % of the total workforce of the Ganjam district. Agriculture is not only the traditional occupation of the inhabitants of the Ganjam district but also the way of living of the people there. The agricultural sector attains a thriving prosperity in Ganjam district because of the growth of the diversified crops in the fertile soil of the Ganjam district. A variety of crops like paddy, Ground Nut, Sugar cane, Oil Seeds, Ragi, Mung, Biri etc. are grown in the district. The agriculture sector in spite of serving the domestic economy and providing employment to a significant section of ganjam`s population also participates in the export operations.
Among the gross cropped area of 718.80 hectares, the net sown area is 409.20 hect and the rest is the fellow land. Till date , about 3.50 hectare of wasteland is cultivable. During the plan period , Ganjam was included as the agricultural district because of the conducive agro-climatic condition in Ganjam. In the financial years , the Government has arranged the training programs for the farmers and encourages them to exploit the scientific and methodical technology to increase the agricultural productivity. With the induction of the wasteland reorganization and using them for cultivation, the agricultural economy has accentuated a rapid progress in Ganjam.
In the recent years , the infrastructure , providing the agricultural sectors has brought advancement in rapid growth of agricultural sectors, which is helpful for the economic augmentations in Ganjam. The agricultural economy in Ganjam is so prosperous that in the recent years it has even outshined the contribution of the industrial sectors in the royal exchequer of the state.
The Animal husbandry shares no less importance in the economy of Ganjam. In the interior rural areas, there are a considerable section of people who are living on animal rearing. Several allied industries and veterinary hospitals have been constructed in the district by the District Administrator in collaboration with the Orissa State Government. Those allied industries include milk chilling plants and the livestock aid centers and a number of animal insemination centers, which otherwise provide employment to a section of people. Thus the entire agricultural and animal husbandry with the Allied industrial sectors supports the domestic economy primarily.
As it is deciphered from the demographic reports, the share of the industries in the economic development of Ganjam is no less important. Bounty of natural resources including land (Agricultural and forest) and the mineral resources support the industrial economy of the district. With an average geographical area of 8070.6 Sq. Kilometers, the total cultivated land is 4,09,239 hectares, and forests are spread over 2664.25 Sq.Km of land. Moreover the Ganjam district has in store a variety of economically important minerals like limestone, soapstone, china clay, fireclay, graphite, granite and quartz. The cultivated lands supplies raw material to the agro based industries of Ganjam.
Fisheries or Pisciculture constitute to be a significant contributor in the industrial economy of Ganjam. Ganjam is potentially rich in the brackish and the inland fisheries. The coastline of 60 Kms with 26 fishing villages and 14 fish landing centers, Ganjam constitute to be a significant district among the fishing districts of Orissa. The prawn culture, which is the sole supplier of the industrial economy regarding fishery is cultivated in plenty in 5 blocks - Chatrapur, Ganjam, Khallikote, Rangeilunda and Chikiti of the Ganjam district. The long sea and the Chilka coastline are rich with marine products, which supplies a variety of marine product to those industries, which prepare products with the marine products. The Chilka coastline is rich with the resource of the lime shells and consequentially Ganjam district supplies a seizable portion of the total lime needs to the State. Utilizing the plenty of salt available from the coastline has developed the Jayshree Chemicals, a major industry in the Ganjam district. The industries on an average produce annually about 50,000 to 60,000 tons. The industry at the same time provides employment to a considerable amount of labor force, which supports the local economy of Ganjam.
To stimulate the economic growth of the Ganjam during the financial years has categorized the industrial estates and presently there are 3 industrial estates in Ganjam, stationed at Berhampore, Bhanjnagar and Chatrapur. IDCO is the government unit to control the development of industrial economy in Ganjam. IDCO with the Government aid and assistance has developed plots and sheds along with other infrastructural facilities like Road, Drainage, water supply and electricity. The detailed categorization of the industrial estate has brought a sustained development in the rate of development of the industrial economy of the district.
However, the industrial area of Bhanjnagar and Chatrapur is suffering an economic set back for a couple of years, which has an adverse effect to the economic scenario of Ganjam district. The Bhanjnagar estate is covering an industrial estate of 12.5 acres. Though the entrepreneurs are invited to set up industries in the industrial estates, the poor infrastructure becomes the principal hindrance of the development of the industries in these areas. The Chatrapur industrial estate has been principally designed by IDCO for setting up of Chemical industry owing to its proximity to Indian Rare Earth Limited (IRE LTD), Chatrapur and M/s. Jayshree chemicals. Most of its areas have been affected terribly by the devastating cyclone over the areas of Orissa. Presently there are 3 chemical units functioning in the Chatrapur Estate. With the rapid deterioration of the productivity of 2 operational industrial estates has largely affected the industrial economy of Ganjam.
The project of Autonagar Complex has been conjured up in the year of 1987 with the solemn objective of shifting the entire automobile unit from the Aska Road, thereby decreasing the congestion inside the Berhampore City, one of the major functional cities. The concentration of the automobile sectors in a single site ensures a huge work potential, which on the other hand also helps in the economic augmentation of Ganjam. There are the upcoming plans to shift the Truck Terminus and Transport offices to the Autonagar Complex so that Autonagar Complex can be constituted as the separate industrial estate functioning solely concerning the automobile sectors.
The economic genesis in Ganjam in the industrial sectors is mainly brought about by the contribution of the handicraft and the village cottage industries. The handicraft of Ganjam draws international spotlight in the recent years. The Bomkai and the Berhampuri Pata Sarees is the principal attraction about the handicraft of the Ganjam district because of their beautiful fabricated designs. The Sarees exported draws a considerable amount of foreign exchange. The Brass Fish of Bellaguntha are in high demand specially for their attractive designs. The artisans and handicraft workers reside in plenty in the Ganjam district and they produce a variety of works including the appliqué, stone carving, wood carving, brass and bell metal, paper machine, terracotta, Pata chitras, betel nut, Textile toys etc. The varieties of arts and crafts at the same time of serving the rural economy also share a substantial part to the mainstream economy of Ganjam district.
The collective contribution of the agriculture and industrial sectors in the recent years has stimulated the socio-economic progress of Ganjam district.