(Last Updated on : 23-03-2009)
The economy of Malda is essentially agrarian. Since Malda does not have the extensive resource of minerals and other infrastructure, industry could not develop to supplement the economy of Malda. Therefore the entire economy of Malda is suffering from the low per capita income, which affects the standard of living of Malda to a large extent. Not only the per capita income, Malda presently encountered grave problems like, low yield per unit area, poor industrialization, shortage of capital and entrepreneurship and large labor surplus, which affected the economy of Malda.
Paddy, wheat, jute and other Rabi crops are the principal agricultural products. However the production of these food crops are included in the category of subsistence farming, which does not supplement the economy of Malda directly except providing the daily requirements of the local inhabitants.
The economy of Malda is significantly supported by the production of raw silk in Malda. Malda is the largest producer of raw silk in West Bengal and in the state's economy Malda shares an important role. The annual estimated production of raw silk in Malda is 85% of total output of the state, which draw about 4 crores by exporting only the surplus. Apart from the production of raw silk, another important aspect of the economy of Malda is the production of mango. About 180 km2 of land is covered with the mango orchards, which produces about 3, 60,000 tones of fruits. The mangoes produce in Malda makes a business of 5.5 crores annually. Though the finest quality of mango produced in Malda is Gopalbag, nearly all the varieties namely Brindaboni, Ashsina, Langra, Kishanbhog and Fajli are produced, which also accounts for a large quantity of export. Hence the economy of Malda is solely dependent on the raw silk and the mangoes produced locally.
Because of the fluctuations in the growth rate and consequently the price rate of mangoes the economy of Malda cannot reach the estimated rate of income per year. Hence the continuous fluctuations have affected the economic scenario of Malda. The price of the mangoes produced in Malda varies according to the categories and the impact of weather on the crop for hail and heavy rains. A bumper crop actually comes once in four years and is followed by a bad year in which the production may come down to an average limit of 25% to 30%. The moderate crop with an average production of 45% to 50% follows it. Then comes another year of meager production. The cycle of bad and good years badly affected the production of mango, thereby affected the economy of Malda.