Economy of Rajasthan: Agriculture in Rajasthan, Industries in Rajasthan, Industrial Areas in Rajasthan, Minerals of Rajasthan

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Rajasthan is one of the least densely populated states in India. It is also one of the poorest state with low per capita income and low level of literacy, specially in women. The economy of Rajasthan is agricultural or pastoral economy. Besides this, there are good mineral resources, industries, industrial areas and an expanding tourism industry in Rajasthan.

Agriculture in Rajasthan

Agriculture, Agriculture in Rajasthan

The total sown area of Rajasthan is about 20 million hectares, out of which only 20% of the land is irrigated. Rajasthan receives very less rainfall and due to this, the farmers have to depend on the various other sources of irrigation. There are mainly two crop seasons - Rabi and Kharif season. The Rabi crops are sown in October and November and harvested in March and April. These crops are wheat, barley, pulses, gram and oil seeds. The Kharif crops are sown in June and July and harvested in September and October.

 These crops are Bajra, Jowar, Pulses, Maize and Ground nut. Improved, high-yielding varieties of rice are also grown in the areaswith large water supply. Rape and mustard are the most important oil seeds. Cotton is an important cash crop which is grown in the north and south parts of the state. The fruits and vegetables are also grown throughout the state. The main fruit trees are orange, lemon, pomegranate, guava and mango. The main source of irrigation are wells, tube wells and tanks. Rajasthan receives water from the Punjab rivers in the North, the Narmada in the South and from the Gurgaon and Agra Canals from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Minerals of Rajasthan

Rajasthan has the second largest mineral resources in India. Rajasthan produces 42 varieties of major minerals and 23 varieties of minor minerals. The major minerals include Copper, Zinc, Gypsum, Clay, Soap Stone, Asbestos, Fluorite, Feldspar, Ball Clay and Rock Phosphate. Rajasthan is the second largest producer of glass, clay, silica and ceramic and the leading producer of feldspar, zinc and emeralds. It also produces 94% of India's gypsum, 76% of silver ore, 84% of asbestos, 68% of feldspar and 12% of mica. The rich salt deposits are found at Sambhar and other places and copper mines at Khetri and Dariba. The white marble is found in Makrana, near Jodhpur.

Industries in Rajasthan

The industrial development in Rajasthan was started between 1950 and 1960. Large business groups like the Birlas, the Shrirams and the Singhanias have set up large scale projects in Rajasthan. National Engineering Industries, J K Synthetics and Rayon industries are the main industries that have been set up in Rajasthan. Today, almost all prominent groups including Thapars, Modis, Goenkas, Bangurs, Poddars and Rankas have a manufacturing base in Rajasthan. Large number of small scale and large scale industries have been set up in Jaipur, Kota, Udaipur and Bhilwara in Rajasthan. Chambal Fertilizer project, Shriram Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd. and Ashok Leyland Ltd. are the small scale industries that have been set up. The area of Rajasthan is rich in zinc, copper, gypsum, lignite and mica. So as to make a proper use of them these metals are exploited and industries have been developed. The main industries are based on textiles, rugs, woollen goods, vegetable oil and dyes. Various cotton and textile industries have also been set up in several places in Rajasthan. The other private sector industries include the steel, cement, ball bearings, ceramics, sugar, electrical, electronics, tourism and other chemical industries.

Industrial Areas in Rajasthan

Around 212 industrial areas covering an area of about 42000 acre have been set up at strategic locations which are equipped with electricity, water and telecommunication services. Shahjahanpur, Neemrana, Behror, Khushkhera, Jurhera in Bharatpur district and Bhiwadi Industrial Area are the best industrial estates in India. Industrial areas at Abu Road, Udaipur and Banswara in South Rajasthan are the ideal locations for mineral based projects. Sitapura, Malviya and Vishwakarma industrial areas have been set up in Jaipur which are equipped with excellent social infrastructure. Export Promotion Industrial Park has been set up in Sitapura and Bhiwadi in Rajasthan.

Tourism in Rajasthan

Tourism makes a large contribution to the economy of Rajasthan. Recent hike in the figures of tourists to Rajasthan has proved that tourism is a vital source of income for the state of Rajasthan. One may not forget that many heritage Hotels (Old forts and Palaces) all over Rajasthan are being run successfully for handsome amount of money and the considerable amount of tax being paid to the state government support the local economy and people of Rajasthan which would have not been possible without the tourists visiting the state. A recent study showed that from every single tourist around 13 people profit directly or indirectly. Local transporters, Hotels, Shopkeepers, Monuments, Museums, Guides, Tour Operator just to name a few who survive through tourists.

If proper efforts are taken, then around 30% of the total population of Rajasthan can live from tourism. Rural tourism in Rajasthan could bring enormous wealth to the villages of Rajasthan but due to lack of infrastructure and basic problem of the society it does not seem very promising in near future though the local government would always make self glorifying statements to gain popularity among the villagers. The other unfortunate factor is that the increase in the cost of per night stay for tourist may not make Rajasthan in long term an attractive destination.

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