Economy of GanjamGanjam is one of the economically backward region of Odisha. However it holds immense untapped economic potential, which if fulfilled and tapped will propel Ganjam to economic prosperity in coming decades. Though agriculture is the main occupation practiced yet their is also presence of some small and medium scale industrial units in this part of Odisha. Below is detailed information about all these potentials and sectors that are critically important for Ganjam’s economy.
Agrarian Economy in GanjamAgriculture is the most important contributor in Ganjam’s economy. Most of the people of Ganjam are dependent on agriculture sector for their livelihood. Ganjam’s agriculture sector gets much needed boost and help from presence of fertile land (thanks to high quality of soil) and good annual rainfall. Besides, several irrigation projects in the district as well as in neighboring district help in boosting agricultural production. Ganjam’s main crops includes rice, sugarcane, cotton, chilli, ragi, jowar, bajra, ground nut, kulthi, and maize. Besides, horticulture crops are also grown in huge quantity here. Almost all crops grown here are exported to other parts of the satae, consequently bringing immense revenue to region. Overall, agriculture is the main lifeline of Ganjam and in all probability it will continue to remain so even in coming decades.
Industrial Economy in GanjamGanjam is one of the industrially backward regions of Odisha.Whatever few industries that are operating mainly constitute of agro based industries and mineral extraction (mining) industry. Both these industries have thrived here owing to geographical advantages and availability of resources here.
Among agro based industries Cashew Processing Units, Kewra Processing Units, Ayurvedic Units and Rice Milling Units are the most prominent ones. They generate immense employment and livelihood in entire district. The scale of agro based industry, however, is immensely small and is hence categorized into small scale industries. The agro based industry though is not the only small scale industry operating here. There are other small industries, which are equally important when it comes to employment generation in the district. These are chemical based industry, forest based industry, plastic product industry, textile based industry, engg. & metal based industry etc.
The large scale industry operating here, which are very few, mainly constitutes of mineral extraction or mining industry. Indian Rare Earth Ltd, one of the prominent mineral extraction companies (owned by Govt of India) has a big plant in Ganjam. Besides, there are few more mineral extraction companies that are operating in the district. Apart from mineral extraction industry, there are quite few other large scale industries operating in the district. These are Jayashree Chemicals (Public) Ltd, Aska Co-operative Sugar Industries Ltd and Sudhakar PVC Products Ltd. It is also pertinent to mention the growing importance of Ancillary Industries in the district. Owing to presence of large scale industries and there growing operational needs, quite a few ancillary units have already come up. And in every likelihood their numbers are set to rise in coming years, consequently producing much needed employment in the district.
Handicraft and Cottage Industry in GanjamPeople of Ganjam hold special talent in the field of handicraft, which has helped made handicraft items one of the major exportable items and consequently contributing immensely to district’s economy. In fact few of Ganjam’s handicraft items like Bomkai silk Pata Sarees and Behrhampuri Pata Sarees have gained immense international recognition and are today exported internationally. These are special Oriya sarees whose special design reflect artistry of Ganjam’s artisans.
Another Ganjam handicraft product that has gained international recognition is Flexible Brass Fish that is exclusively made in Bellaguntha area of Ganjam village. Besides, there are other quite a few handicraft products that are equally important exportable items. These are Dhokra, Poterry & Terracotta, Golden Grass and Cane Works. Overall, Handicraft may not be a dominant sector, but it is surely one of the critical sectors of Ganjam’s economy. As matter of fact it is surely one of the promising and potential sectors of Ganjam. If even more infrastructure and funds are provided to this sector, then it will definitely benefit Ganjam’s economy.
Service Sectors in GanjamService sector forms a very minuscule part of Ganjam’s economy. Besides, large part of Ganjam’s service sector is largely unorganized and is scattered across small businesses and enterprises. These small businesses mostly constitute of STD/ISD telephone booths, laundry & dry cleaning, motels, dhabas, beauty parlour, DTP centers, photo binding, automobile garage, watch repairing and fabrication. Other important industries are animal husbandry industry and tourism industry holds immense prominence for Ganjam. Both are major employment and revenue generators. Although their potential hasn’t been tapped to the fullest. This is especially true about tourism industry. Since Ganjam’s beautiful beaches and temples are not attracting as many tourists as they should be.
From all the above points, it can be concluded that agriculture sector will continue to dominate Ganjam’s economy even in coming decades. Nonetheless, potential sectors like handicraft, mineral extraction and tourism are surely expected to play bigger role in district’s economy in coming decades. If anything, they might well help in reducing dependency on agriculture sector.