The nature has endowed District Kulgam with abundant natural resources. Its fertile land, abundant fresh water resources and favorable agro-climatic conditions have helped in growing a variety of cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables and rearing of livestock. Apiculture, mushroom cultivation, rearing of fish and silk worms have of late been taken as remunerative economic activities in the district. The district is known for unique handicraft and handloom products of carpet weaving, crewel & embroidery, gabba and namda making, sozni works, chain stitch, wood works and willow wicking.
The economy of the district has shown a perceptible change over the years due to the steady growth in various economic sectors. The sector-wise performance of various economic sectors is described in the following pages.
Once known as the ‘Rice Bowl of Kashmir’, agriculture is the main stay of the district as more than 80% of the population derives its income directly or indirectly from this sector. It is a vital component of primary sector. Agriculture occupies dominant position in the district in terms of dependence for livelihood and employment.
Apiculture & Mushroom are amongst the important activities under Agriculture sector which provide employment to a good number of un-employed youth. Apiculture production was of the size of 206.80 Qtls in private sector and 2.09 Qtls in Govt. Sector during 2016-17. Likewise, Mushroom production was of the order of 0.35 Qtls in Govt. Sector and 11Qtls in Private Sector in the district during 2016-17.
Horticulture has assumed greater significance in the district and makes handsome contribution to the District Domestic Product. The district has very high potential in this sector. The cropping pattern has in the recent past significantly changed in favor of horticulture. Consequently the district has more than 25625 hectares of the area under fruit and a variety of fruits like apple, pear, apricot, walnut are grown all over the district.
Sericulture (rearing silk worm) has remained an important activity in the past. But with the passage of time, the activity received a serious jolt due to cutting of mulberry trees ruthlessly and lackadaisical interest from rearing persons. Consequently, the production of cocoons was affected adversely. However, efforts are being made to revive this industry by way of providing various types of incentives and better marketing facility to the families attached with it.
Live-Stock plays a vital role in the economic development of the district and forms an integral part of the district Agriculture. Live-Stock rearing is the subsidiary occupation of 80% of population in the district having agriculture as their main activity. The live-stock activity contributes a sizeable portion to the GDDP.
As is well known the ranges of Peer Panchaal in the South and South-west bound the district. These ranges are covered with thick and dense forests which comprises of Coniferous and Deodar trees.
Owing to its rich sources of fish, the district is also called “Angler’s paradise”. The fishing has emerged as an economically viable industry in the district. Pisciculture is being developed in streams like Veshow & Sonman. The total Fish caught in the District during 2016-17 has been recorded 66 tons. Revenue to the tune of Rs14.72 lacs stands released through sale of 23211.72 Kgs of Trout Fish in Govt run rearing units at Kulgam, Chawalgam and Tschancer during the reference period, thereby, contributing sufficiently to the GDDP.