Agriculture is credited to be the means of subsistence of a majority of Manipur's populace and contributes largely to its economy. Paddy is grown in plenitude and the quintessential Manipuri sweet rice is renowned all across the country. Wheat, pulses and maize as well as innumerable fruits are also grown aplenty.
Manipur is recognized as an agricultural state more so for its production of large scale of agricultural products. Agriculture is the backbone of the economy in the state. Around 76% of the population in Manipur is engaged in agriculture. Manipur cultivates only about 9.41% of the area in the state. And 52% is reserved in the valley alone. The valley accommodates around 67% of the population of Manipur and is engaged in agriculture. Paddy, pulses, wheat, turmeric, oil seeds, fruits like papaya, orange, banana and vegetables like the tomato, pumpkin, cauliflower; peas, cabbage etc are seen in plenty here.
Industry in Manipur is now on an increase as there are now many handloom and handicraft industries in the state. One can see women take an aggressive part in the Handloom industry and play a significant part in the state's income. Handloom industry plays a second role after agriculture in the state. One can find a good business flourishing here and is famous for its handloom bed sheets, tablecloth, saris, fashion garments and the woven shawls that are made with exclusively Manipuri designs and material. The products have a distinct look to it and tourist and people all over India and abroad love their aesthetic and artistically designed garment for every use.Apart from this Manipur industry also comprises of cane and Bamboo products. Without bamboo, Manipur is incomplete. They are famous in India as well as outside. The production of only the bamboo products is around 10 lakh ton every year. Therefore there are many people who are engaged in the bamboo cane and craft industry.
The state government is trying hard to improve the industry and the economy of the state by setting up various small scale industries here. The government has also been successful in bringing various pharmaceutical companies and drug companies to the state and has done tremendous efforts to also provide the state with a steel plant. The other industries that can be seen in Manipur are the plastic industry, electronic goods industry, cement factories, pharmaceutical units etc. There are several other units that produce yarn and other goods. There is also a ghee factory here.Manipur has been more successful in setting up various small scale industries than large scale. Around 7,700 small scale industries have been set up here. Mining is another sector where the state revenue is generated. However, there is much to be done in this field as the progress is slow. Tourism is another industry where nothing much has been done due to the geographical aspect of the state. There is tremendous scope for tourism to rise in this part of India as the land has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty, culture, tradition and many more. Limestone is a mineral that is widely available in the state, which can bring in good revenue in Manipur and employ a large number of people as well.
There is a lot of potential to increase the economy of the state by setting by various industries.
The agricultural sector in the state is in dire state, as the total cultivated area is less than 10% of the total land area and half of the cultivated land falls inside the valley, making it susceptible to encroachment and urban population expansion.Agriculture sector in Manipur also employs around half of the total workforce of the state and it is a blessing for the domestic financial crises. Since, the cultivated land is under 10% of the total land area in Manipur, people do a lot of research to find out the best ways to increase production in the wake of expansion of the residential areas.
The main agricultural produce include food grains such as wheat, pulses, paddy, and maize; oilseeds such as mustard, sunflower, groundnut, and soybean, food ingredients such as ginger and turmeric; fruits such as orange, papaya, lemon, plum, pineapple, banana, and vegetables like peas, cauliflower, cabbage, tomato, carrot, and pumpkin.As far as irrigation is concerned, the potential created is more than 29,000 Ha, whereas actual utilization is much less at 22,000 Ha approximately. As far as supply of raw water for irrigation purposes is concerned, Singda Multipurpose Project and Khuga Project alone supply 4 and 5 MGD water, respectively. The lower areas are already being covered by Thoubal project. There are two major types of soil found in Manipur; the first one is the red ferrogenous, which is found largely in hilly areas, whereas the soil found in the valley is alluvium.
Manipur is blessed with suitable climate to produce enormous agricultural stuff and that's the reason the farmers grow cash crops, food, fruits and vegetables in large quantities. Hilly areas are conducive for the farming of vegetables and fruits. Organic farming has already been started at many hilly areas in the state.In Manipur, the naturally grown plants include pineapple, passion fruit and mushroom. Surprisingly, these fruits are grown in bulk and commercial cultivation also takes place. Turmeric and ginger along with bamboo shoot and mushrooms are produced commercially and sent outside the Manipur state. State government of Manipur has signaled that the farmers producing the fruits at a large scale will be provided special incentives. Many agri-horticultural crops are potential export commodities. The agro-based industry includes fruit preparations, juice concentrate plants, herbal plants, processing of spices and so on. These farm produce along with bamboo shoots are used for commercial purposes. Pharmaceutical companies are also big consumers of herbal and medicinal farm produce.