Two new government projects for the district to help agricultural sector

With its entrepreneurial spirit, Erode, a predominantly agrarian district, has transformed itself into a thriving industrial hub besides being known for turmeric cultivation and a few other agricultural produces.

The district, which figures among the top cultivators of oilseeds such as groundnuts and gingelly, is a major producer of sugarcane and tobacco and occupies the first place in the production of turmeric. It accounts for about 15 per cent of the turmeric production in the country and the tuber's market in Erode is the second largest in the country, next only to Sangli in Maharashtra. The district is also known for its edible oil units, dairy industry, and various other food processing units.

Realising the growth potential of agriculture in the district, the State government has given its nod for two major projects, Integrated Turmeric Marketing Complex and the Terminal Marketing Complex, in Erode, foundation stones for which were recently laid by Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

The turmeric marketing complex will come up on 7.34 acres of land near Karumandichellipalayam. The terminal marketing complex would be established under a public-private partnership in the SIPCOT premises. Once completed, the two facilities would give a new fillip to the agriculture sector, which provides employment to nearly 60 per cent of workforce in the district.

Though agriculture continues to be the major driving force in the district's economy, Erode has also witnessed a significant growth in the small and medium industries, particularly in the textiles sector.

The district now has over 40,000 power looms, which manufacture nearly 35 per cent of the power loom-based textiles in the State. To boost the power loom industry, the Union government had given approval for the establishment of the Erode Mega Power loom Cluster, comprising a marketing complex (Texvalley) and a manufacturing cluster, at Gangapuram near Chithode in Erode district.

The marketing complex will be established as a public-private partnership initiative under the Comprehensive Power loom Cluster Development Scheme of the Ministry of Textiles. The total project cost is estimated to be around Rs. 145 crore. Of this, the ministry has extended a grant of Rs. 38 crore. A special purpose vehicle, Erode Textile Mall Limited, has been formed for the implementation of the project.

The complex will primarily benefit the small and medium textile manufacturers and traders, as it would bring in all the weekly markets in Erode under a single roof.

Apart from the power loom units, the district has also attracted investment in the garment and apparel production area.

Erode also ranks high among the top milk producing districts in the State and has ample scope for setting up food processing industries. Manufacture of leather goods is another area where the district offers potential.

The higher education sector in the district has also registered a significant growth in the recent past.

A number of new engineering institutions and CBSE schools have been started and the existing institutions have received nation-wide attention for their infrastructure facilities and quality of teaching.