The area under the command of the Hirakund Dam Project has a fairly developed agricultural sector. The Padampur Sub division and Ambabhona blocks are however less developed zones both in agriculture and industry.
In the rural and the interior sections agriculture is the principal economic activity. Along with the production of food crops, animal husbandry is also attaining popularity in the recent times. With the popularity of the animal husbandry, the Government has approached, with the plans to emphasize the allied activities like Dairy, Poultry, Goatery and Piggry, to ensure a financial stability in the rural sectors. Poultry farming has come up in a big way to support the financial set up of the rural Barhgarh.
Next to the Government enterprises, the handloom sectors with the concentration of a large number of weavers in the villages are growing up keeping in pace with the industrial economy. Beside, there are potters, blacksmith and the construction workers, who are also the backbone of the rural economy of Barhgarh.
The major crops produced in Barhgarh are Rice, Pulses like Arhar, Mung and Biri, Oil-seeds like Groundnuts, Til and Mustard. Sugarcane is the only crop commercially important is produced here. Apart from these the horticulture crops like Vegetables, Mango, Banana, Citrus, Papaya, Guava, Litchi, Ber etc demands the special status for fetching a great amount of foreign exchanges.
In the recent years, there is an increased demand for taking up allied industries and services under the government supervision to induce the economic development in Barhgarh. Poultry and dairy industries are earning enormous popularity. The outlets of these units are even scattered in the urban areas, with their subsidiary industries. These industrial units generate the interest among the unemployed people in self-help opportunities. The programs lead by the Government was designed aiming a direct attack to wipe out the poverty and offering equally the ample provision of employment. Thus the projects and programs held by the Government have strengthened the economic infrastructure of Barhgarh.
D.I.C (District Industrial Center) has conducted several schemes for the promotion of SSI (Small scale Industries) Unit and implemented PMRY (Prime Minister Rojgar Yojna), OKVIB (Grameen Rojgar Yojna) and KVIC Scheme in the Revenue sub divisions of Barhgarh. D.I.C, within the last financial years has registered the amount of land required to the entrepreneurs to set up industries and also enlisted those entrepreneurs who have land but lacks the effective infrastructure.
The cement and the sugar industry are the leading large-scale industries followed by the Fertilizer Industry, all are public enterprises. Presently there are 2103 SSI units operating throughout the district of Barhgarh. The SSI is the private undertaking, though not solely run by the Government.
The economy of Barhgarh is significantly supported by the Mining industry, which is the premier sector in the field of industrial economy. The vast geological diversities and the extensive storage of economically important minerals constitute Barhgarh as one of the economically developed districts. In the post independence period the mines are all nationalized and in 1956, Circle Mining Office, headed by Deputy Director starts functioning from 1956. The economic mineral deposits of Barhgarh District like Limestone, Graphite, Fireclay, China clay, Quartz and Bauxite etc contribute a quantum of raw materials to the domestic industries and also accounts for a large portion of export. The mining industries provides employment to a significant section of population, hence strengthen the local economy.
The collective contribution of the agricultural and industrial sector has brought a massive change in the economic scenario of Barhgarh.
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