Kachchh is a largest district of Gujarat State. Historically Kachchh was always considered a backward region due to its location and submerged geography. Kachchh is also very famous for ecologically important Banni grasslands with their seasonal marshy wetlands which form the outer belt of the Rann of Kachchh.
Kachchh today is a growing economic and industrial hub in the state. The key industries in Kachchh include Engineering, Power, Steel Pipes, Cement, Handicrafts. Emerging industry sectors include Construction , Chemicals, Ceramics and Textiles.
Madhapar village in Kachchh is considered to be Asia’s richest village due to foreign remittances by NRIs in Africa, the Gulf countries, UK and the USA
Agriculture and animal husbandry are the predominant economic activities in the district. Agriculture is an important revenue earner of the district. Major Crops being produced in Kachchh district are groundnut, rape seeds, castor seeds, mustard seeds, bajra, jowar, cotton, wheat, millets and pulses. Kachchh is a chief producer of psyllium (Isabgul), cumin and coriander. Around one thousand cotton producers in Rapar taluka of Kachchh have been granted ‘organic’ certification by Agrocel (an agricultural services provider). Bajra is an important food grain of the district. Fruits grown in the district are mango, banana, papaya, chikoo, date palms, Sapota, Lemon and Pomegranate Vegitable grown in the district are brinjal, cucurbits, tomato, and okra Kachchh is a major producer of Fodder Grass.
Livestock breeding is a very important agriculture allied activity in Kachchh. Traditionally Kachchh is famous for livestock related activities and rural folk is highly dependent on it. Animal husbandry is the second largest employment providing activities in Kachchh after agriculture. Animal husbandry development will have direct impact on the development of rural economy of the district. Animal husbandry is the main source of livelihood for shepherds and many nomadic tribes in Kachchh. Cows and buffaloes are reared as milk cattle in all talukas of Kachchh, mainly by farming communities as a supplementary income source from milk. Sheep, goat, camel, horse and donkey are reared mainly by nomadic tribes in Kachchh. Sheep and goat are reared for wood and meat purpose. Camel, horse and donkey are reared for breeding purpose and selling the mas load carrying animals. ‘Banni’ buffalo, ‘Kankrej’ cow and ox, ’Patanwadi’ sheep and ‘Kachchh’ goat are proven important breeds of Kachchh. The expanding market with rise in demand for diverse animal products and easy access to marketing are added opportunities for further strengthening of this allied sector in the district with wide network of infrastructural and support services.
One of the most important gulfs of India, the Gulf of Kachchh surrounds the district providing it with some of the richest fishing ground, containing such important species as pomfrets, prawns, Bombay Ducks etc. Simultaneously it presents optimum conditions for the growth and sustenance of some of the most valuable species of fish like pearl oysters,window pane oysters, chanks and other shell fish. The district has the advantage of possessing a vast sea coast extending over nearly 406 km; which is 25.37% of total 1600 km costal line of Gujarat and also having one major port, 2 intermediate ports and three minor ports. Seven out of ten talukas in Kachchh are having coastal line. The fisheries of Kachchh can be broadly divided into three categories viz. (1) Marine (2) Inland and (3) Back water fisheries. Fish culture activities in the district have been under taken in the coastal as well as inland waters. As there are no major fish based industries in Kachchh, almost all fish captured in Kachchh has to be processed in Junagadh, Veraval or Porbandar.
Kachchh is a mineral rich region with a very large reserve of Lignite, Bauxite, Gypsum,limestone, and bentonite, Kachchh district is one of the preferred destinations for most of the mineral based industries and other minerals. Lignite is mined only by Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) at its two mines in Panandhro and Mata no Madh.
Kachchh is rich in non metallic minerals. As a mineral rich district of Gujarat, It has biggest reserves of limestone, china clay, lignite, and bauxite and silica sand in the country. The district has the highest production of Lignite and China clay in Gujarat. Because of its soaring calorific value and low moisture content, Kachchh’s lignite is favourable for power generation. Welspun, Adani Groups, and Sanghi Groups, are the key industry players present in the district. Adani Group owns a fully functional multi-purpose port at Mundra in the Gulf of Kachchh and has established an edible oil refinery in the district. Presence of more than 6,128 Small Scale Industry units in the district has shown a considerable progress in the district’s economy.
Due to Wide reserves of Limestone, Major Cement Plants Like Sanghi Cement, Ultratech Cement, JP Cement, Reliance ADG Cement etc. have started in Kachchh. Sanghi Cement’s 4.1 million tonnes per annum capacity plant Located in Kachchh is one of the largest single location cement plant in India.
Due to wide reserves of Lignite, Thermal Power stations as Panadhro and Akri Moti has been started. Tata Power’s first 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) of India and Adani Power 3300 MW are the Ultra Mega Power project in Kachchh. Besides thermal Power Plant large number of Wind Farms, and Solar Power Plant also exists in Kachchh
Kachchh district has a scanty forest cover. Hence there is negligible risk of illegal cutting of forests. This coupled with the adequate facilities available at Kandla port has helped establish the timber market. In 1987, “Kandla Timber Association” was formed in order to resolve the specific problems of timber importers and timber allied industries coming up during the period. The timber industry is growing at a faster pace with 300 saw mills working in Gandhidham-Kandla Complex.
Kandla near Gandhidham and Mundra has been developed into a major international port Kachchh district accounts for a very high cargo movement These ports are near most to the Gulf and Europe by the sea route. The hinterland of north-western India hosts more than 50% of India’s population.
Kachchh has the world’s largest manufacturer of Submerged Arc Welded (SAW) pipes
The Other industries in Kachchh includes, Textiles, Machinery and parts, Mining and quarrying , Food products, Chemical & chemical products, Wood products,Rubber & plastic products , Non-metallic mineral products, Basic metal industries, Paper product & printing, Electrical machinery and apparatus, Transport equipment and parts,
Due to very large industries, ports and mininig activities the Road transport industries has flourished in kachchh
The Little Rann of Kachchh is known for its traditional salt production and various references mention this to be a 600-year-old activity. Out of the estimated total annual production of India of about 180 lakh tonnes, Gujarat contributes 75% – mainly from Kachchh and other parts of Saurashtra. Kachchh contributes to over 60% of Gujarat’s Salt production which is largely exported to countries like Bangladesh and Korea.
Kachchh is one of the most prolific regions in India in the area of textile art. Kachchh embroidery is dense with motifs and is one of the most beautiful forms of textile art. A variation with mirrors sewn into the embroidery is one of the signature arts of this region. Within the category of Kachchh embroidery there are several sub-categories as each tribe and sub-tribe produces a unique signature form of art.
Kachchh embroidery is an evolving expression of the craft and textile traditions of the Rabaris, a nomadic tribe in Gujarat. Kachchh embroidery is unique in the sense that a net is woven on a cloth using thread.The net is then filled in using the same thread by intricate interlocking stitches. The patterns are usually built around geometric shapes.This embroidery follows its own traditional design logic and juxtaposition of colours and motifs. The Rohanas tribals of Kachchh specialise in skirt work. The Sodhas use a geometric style for their embroidery. The Garacia Jats are experts in tiny embroidery on the yoke, which intermingles with red, orange, blue and green threads. The Dhanetah Jats love embroidering broad pear-shaped mirrors using orange, black, yellow and red in chain stitch.
The district has the potential to put Gujarat on the world tourist map due to its unique blend of history, important pilgrim locations, archaeology, desert at one side and beaches on the other. Fossils of ancient Hindu Civilization have been traced at Dholaveera in Rapar taluka which attracts the tourist across the country and abroad, which made Kachchh a powerful tourist destination Palaces, temples, fairs and festivals of Kachchh attracts a large number of tourists in the district