(Last Updated on : 18-02-2010)
Economy of Shimoga district is mostly dependant on agriculture. Agriculture, including animal husbandry, has been the major contributing sector in the income of the district. The Sahyadri ranges, part of the Western Ghats mountain range
, feed the rivers round the year, and inundate the fertile alluvial soil. This makes Shimoga district the bread basket of Karnataka
. Shimoga district happens to be granary of paddy in Karnataka, and it is also known as the 'rice bowl' of the state. Of the total area of the district, 214.23 hectares is the net sown area. The major crops grown here are paddy, coconut, ragi, pepper, areca, sugarcane
, fruits, cotton
, cashewnut, chillies and ginger
. The net irrigated area is127.70 hectares.
The industrial scenario in Shimoga district is also quite impressive. On an average, the district has over 9500 units, with an investment of approximately Rupees 12000 lakhs. The industries here employ 41000 persons. The most prominent units in the district are the agro-based industries, automobile-based industries and the engineering-based industries. The average investment per unit is about 1.30 lakhs and the employment per unit on an average is 4 persons. So far, the maximum amount of investment has been made under the food and beverages sector followed by the general engineering/mechanical products. Likewise, in the sectors, Food and Beverages and General Engineering or mechanical sector like the employment provided is the maximum.
The foundry units in the district have been very successful in producing quality products. They have been manufacturing components for automobile sector, electric motors etc. Some of them have been exporting their products that have obtained ISO certification. Under the rural artisans category, there are units like traditional carpentry, blacksmith, leather crafts, pottery, beekeeping, stone cutting, handlooms, agarbatti and sandal carving etc. There are about 13000 artisans spread over the entire district under various crafts. Among these, sandalwood articles have brought number of awards to the district. These products have been displayed in various trade fairs and exhibitions. Some articles are being exported through KSHDC. There are a total of three hydroelectric power projects existing in the state.
Consistent efforts have been made by the state in order to develop and promote the economic development of the state. The Regional Design and Technical Development Centre, Govt. of India has been imparting training in lacquer-ware at Kugve, Sagar taluk. RUPREG (Rural Self Employment Promotion Research Guidance Centre) is a specialised training centre promoted by Canara Bank in association with Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Karnataka to train the rural youth in tailoring, embroidery, motor winding, hand pump repair and also conducting EDPs. Skill-oriented training in carpentry, leather stitching, cane and bamboo and sandalwood carving is provided at ATI, Sagar. Handicraft artisans producing sandalwood and rosewood articles are producing certain precious articles, which have great demand in the country as well as abroad.