(Last Updated on : 05-10-2019)
The district of Cooch Behar is essentially a town. In spite of having a huge resource of mineral, due to the lack of proper infrastructure the industrial sector is not well developed here. It is the home of many district-level and divisional level offices. Hence the economy is solely agriculture-dependent.
But the climate and the topographical features are conducive for the booming of agriculture in the district. As most of the rivers in Cooch Behar originate from the Bhutan Hills, they are snow-fed, hence perennial, which can supply an ample quantity of water needed for the cultivation. Moreover, during the flood the rivers carry a huge amount of silt and forms the extensive alluvial plains of the district. The sufficient supply of water and the favorable kind of soil have initiated the rapid growth of agriculture here. Moreover the cultivated area is brought under the Teesta-Barrage Project, which also facilitates the irrigational network.
The coverage of the crops is also gradually increasing in the region. The district is marginally surplus in rice production & wheat is one of the major cereals in the Rabi season. As the climate is highly beneficial for the cultivation of the pulses, steps have been adopted to increase the production as well as productivity of the pulses. It is one of the principal cereals here, which also accounts for a large quantity of export. Apart from these food crops, jute & tobacco are also cultivated. A special emphasis is provided for the production of the hybrid crops- tomato & green chilly.
AGMARK (Agricultural Marketing Network) is operating in the district to upgrade the agricultural scenario. AGMARK has implemented certain measures for the marketing of those agricultural products, thereby serving the economy greatly. The DMI (Directorate of Marketing & Inspection) headed by the Agricultural Marketing Advisor, implements marketing policies, which help in the proper utilization of the agricultural products and the suitable marketing and exporting of the surplus. The agricultural products have a wide range of market all over the country. But the hybrid crops of the district are highly demanding in Uttar Pradesh & Delhi.
The inland marketing of the agricultural products mainly supports the economy of Cooch Bihar. Predominantly an agrarian district, Cooch Behar is industrially backward. However to supplement the agriculture based economy, some measures have been taken up to ensure growth in the industrial sector. As the district is primarily agrarian, the agro-based industries are in the first priority. Hence the food processing industries like the manufacturing of jam, jelly, sauce & chips (supplemented mainly by the production of potato & tomato) have a good potential in the district. The processed food of the district has a profitable domestic market at the same time they are exported to the neighboring countries.
Jute producing units are one of the major industries in Cooch Behar. Presently 2 manufacturing units have been operating in the region, which produces various jute-based products. One of the chief features of the jute industry here, that all the subsidiary products for the production of the jute goods (like dying & bleaching) are available locally. The products like jute mat, jute particleboard have wide & diversified domestic market, which supports the local economy. And as the subsidiary products are locally available, the extra cost of importing can be saved. This is perhaps the principal cause behind the development of Jute industry, which also provides employment to a section of people.
However Cooch Behar has made a tremendous progress in the field of industrial development with the establishment of most sophisticated Downstream Haldia Projects, last year. Cold Drawing steel plants & casting units are in operation in the district recently. Units for Unconventional & Industrially used products are now being constructed in the area. The industries in Cooch Behar, instead of being an independent one are the subsidiary units supporting the industries with the raw materials and the processing of their finished products.
The West Bengal Government in Cooch Behar is commissioning 3 mechanized bread units and a biggest food processing units. Several handicrafts or the cottage industry in the rural areas support the rural economy by providing employment opportunity to the local people.
A special emphasis has been given for not only the quantitative but also to qualitative development of the industrial products. The existing cold storages are being augmented for the preservation of the agricultural products. What-so-more Cooch Behar will be the first district to set up a few ultra-modern cold storage system in near future.
The industry and agriculture here provides employment to the common people. The agricultural & the industrial products are not exported abroad largely; rather they serve raw materials for the industries nationwide. Hence the domestic market mainly supports the economy of Cooch Behar.