Economy of Jammu and Kashmir
Owing to its geographical location and climatic conditions Jammu and Kashmir’s economy is chiefly dependent on agriculture and other primary sources. And since the time of independence the state has been on top of the list for economic development. The government has started to integrate the district and grass root level in the 5 year plans. The objectives are self-reliance, increase in productivity, technological up gradation, poverty alleviation and increase in employment opportunities. And over the years there have been great progress in the infrastructural sectors, such as roads, irrigation and basic minimum services like education, health and water supply. The economy and culture has been untouched by modern day industrial changes making the state dependent on traditional forms of occupation like farming, animal husbandry and horticulture that forms the backbone of the economy of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Read on further to know the other contributors to the economy of Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in the Indian Union that has introduced land reforms of considerable magnitude. The agriculture depends on monsoon for 40% of its water and rest of it through irrigation. Rice, maize, and wheat are the major crops as the productivity level in Kashmir valley is the highest in the country. In Jammu and Kashmir farming is an important economic activity as the majority of the localities of Jammu and Kashmir depend on agriculture and its related activities to earn their livelihood. Mushroom cultivation has also been done in Srinagar. Other crop items grown are Tobacco, Rape seed, mustard, linseed, sesamum, toria, cottonseed, Pulses and Amarnath (Ganhar). There are some famous fruits grown in the state like apples, pears, cherries, plums, grapes, pomegranates, mulberry, peaches, apricots, walnuts and almonds. Saffron Kashmir is of very superior quality and pure and is grown in Pampore.
Since the effect of westernization and industrialization has not touched Jammu and Kashmir, there are not many big industries in the state. But with every five year plan, there has been steady progress in the development of the small-scale sector. Some of the industries that have been established include Hindustan Lever, synthetic detergent plant, New Joinery Mill, cigarette factory and concrete factory at Bari-Brahamana industrial complex at Jammu. The sericulture industry has also grown to one of the biggest industries in Jammu and Kashmir. There are a total of three silk factories that produce various types of silk fabrics, georgette, parachute and suiting. The small scale industries are involved in handicraft production like papier-mache, wood carving, carpets, shawl making and embroidery.
The valley is also known as valley of flowers and contributes its share to the economy of the state. With its wide variety of fruits and flowers, the horticultural sector forms the backbone of the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. The beautiful state has the salubrious climate and suitable soil to produce different kinds of fruits and flowers. Kashmir apples occupy the highest stature amongst horticulture crops. The other fruits are walnuts, apricots almonds, pears, cherries and peaches in the temperate areas and mango, citrus and ber in sub-tropical areas.
The mountainous regions of the valleys are abundant with many minerals that is extracted and processed by the state in a very organized and systematic manner. Some of the mineral wealth found is Coal, Lignite, Graphite, Magnesite, Saphire, Limestone, Gypsum, Cement clays and Bauxite. There are large deposits of marble in Drugmalla, Zirahama, Oura and Trehgam. Slate Stone is also found in abundance in the valley of Kashmir. Ochre used in paints and varnishes is also found along with Iron-ore deposits. The Fullers earth or Multani mitti that is the main ingredient in many parlors for facials is found in Rampur near Baramulla. It is also produced as soap and for filling paper.
With its stunning valleys and scenic beauty surrounding the state, the tourism industry in Jammu and Kashmir is supposed to be one of the most successful industries of the state. The important areas of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir are very important for the success of tourism in the state. Since there is not much industrial development all the importance is given to the Tourism industry. But due to the political disturbances in the state the tourism industry has taken a hit and is declining in turn affecting the financial condition of Jammu and Kashmir.
Just like any other state of India which is steeped in its traditional heritage, agriculture forms the major contributors to the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. Most of the localities here are engaged in agriculture, horticulture and sericulture to earn their livelihood. Even though the tourist activities have declined the government has facilitated the business of tourism with many incentives and facilities for those interested.