Erode District is well developed in Agriculture. Agriculture and allied activities provide employment to the major chunk of population. As per 1991 census, 59.68% of the total workforce depends on these sector. Further this sector provides basic raw material to the industrial sector leading to the deep-rooted growth of agro based industries in this part of the state.

The total area brought under food crop production is 1.84 lakh hectares (during 1999-2000) in this district. The total cropped area is 3.57 hectares constituting 5.48% of the state’s total cropped area. The major crops in this district are Rice, Groundnut, Sugarcane, Gingelly, Turmeric, Jowar, Ragi, Coconut, Cotton, Horsegram, Tobacco, Banana, and Tapioca etc. The cropping intensity is 1.15. Cultivable area is 61.7% of the total geographical area of the district. Total area covered under Rice, Groundnut, Sugarcane, Gingelly, Turmeric, Jowar, Ragi, Coconut, Cotton, Horsegram, Greengram, Maize, Tobacco, Tapioca and Fruit crops is 2.52 lakh hectares. It contributes 71% of the total cropped area of the district giving rich scope for the growth and development of the food products, textile products and other agro based industries in this district.


Geographical area of this district is 8,16,191 Hectares accounting for 6.3% of the total area of the state. Forest accounted for 28.03% against the state average of 16.4% in 1999-2000. The net area sown in 1999-2000 was 37.89% and land under non agricultural uses constitutes 9.18%. Nearly 23.81% of the land remains fallow during the year.

It is pertinent to note that Erode District accounted for the highest percentage of area under current fallow. On an average of 142219 Hectates accounted for 17.4% of the total area of the district, is kept as current fallow right from 1993-94 to 1999-2000, against the state average of 8.3%, inspite of very favorable rainfall in this district during this period. Area wise its fallow land is the highest in the state with an extent of 1,94,343 hectares (both current fallow and other fallow.

This could be attributed to non availability of irrigation facilities & the lands depending on the monsoon, as well as year to year turn system followed in Lower Bhavani Project & Parmbikulam Aliyar Project areas.

Land Utilisation Pattern in the District
(Area in Hectares)

Classification 1993-94
% to total area
Deviation %
Geographical area 816191 816191 X X
Forest 228762 228750 28.03 -0.01
Barren & Uncultivable land 7501 72460.89 -3.40
Land put to non-agri. Use 7283974910 9.182.84
Cultivable waste 521 668 0.08 28.21
Permanent pastures and
Other Grazing lands
420192 0.02 -54.28
Land under Miscellaneous
Tree crops and groves (not
Included in Net Area Sown)
1026 830 0.10 -19.10
Current fallow 136308 131500 16.11 -3.53
Other fallow land 41141 62843 7.70 52.75
Net area sown 327667 309252 37.89 -5.62
Area sown more than once 41266 47255 X X
Gross cropped area 368933 356507 X X

Source: “G” Return, Erode District
Cropping intensity (99-2000) : 1.15
Cultivable area : 61.70%


Erode district is well supported by irrigation facilities. Nearly 55.29% of the sown area is irrigated in this district. Cauvery and Bhavani are the two main rivers in this district. The river Bhavani extensively benefits agriculture in Sathyamangalam and Gobichettipalayam taluks. Cauvery river provides irrigation facilities to a limited extent in Bhavani and Erode taluk. The Bhavani Sagar Dam has been constructed below the confluence of rivers Bhavani and Moyar. It extensively benefits cultivation in all the taluks except Dharapuram in this district. The Parambikulam Aliyar Project which benefits very much the argiculture in Coimbatore District, provides irrigation facility to a limited extent to Dharapuram and Kangayam Taluks of Erode District. The Amaravathi reservoir project is another source which irrigates a part of Dharapuram Taluk. All These sources cover 30.98% of the net sown area. Wells are another major source of irrigation, which accounts for 22.13% of net sown area.

Agriculture is a major economic activity in this district providing employment to 59.68% of the work force. Nearly 3.09 lakh hectares of land accounting for 38% of the total land has been brought under cultivation. This constituted nearly 5.66% of the cropped area of the state. Total cultivate area in this district is 5.04 lakh hectares. Due to the variation in the soil type, irrigation facilities and rainfed crops a variety of food crops, plantation crop and cash crop are grown in this district. Gross area under different product group is given below.


1. Cereals
90405 25.36 119253 33.63
2. Pulses 31498 8.84 30940 8.72
3. Condiments & Spices 16018 4.49 4829 1.36
4. Sugarcane 30959 8.6815767 4.46
5. Fruits & Vegetables 14865 4.17 6339 1.79
Total 183745 51.54 177201 49.96
1. Oil Seeds
94018 26.37 81505 22.98
2. Other Non food crop 78744 22.09 96002 27.06
Total 172762 48.46 177507 50.04

Food crop accounted for 51.54% of the gross cropped area in this district, of which cereals and pulses are the main products accounting for 34.20% of the area, followed by sugarcane 8.68%. Among the nonfood crops, oil seeds occupy prime place with 54.42% of the area coming under this head and 26.37 to the gross cropped area.

It is worth mentioning the following points which considering the cultivation pattern in this district.

  1. Oil seeds are the major crop accounting for 94018 hectares, 26.37% of the Gross cropped area.
  2. Groundnut and Gingelly are the main oil seeds with 55696 hectares, 23105 hectares respectively
  3. .
  4. Erode District stands 3rd place in terms of area under oil seeds followed by Villupuram and Namakkal Districts and occupied 2nd place in terms of productivity followed by Villupuram District.
  5. Gingelly occupies the first place in terms of cropped area and second place in productivity next to Namakkal District during 1999-2000 in Tamilnadu State.
  6. Paddy is cultivated in 60,328 hectares. It accounts for 66.73% of the area under cereals in this district. Jowar occupies 2nd place in the cereals with 12,452 Hectares.
  7. It is to mention that ragi is cultivated in 11,657 Hectares which occupies 5th position in Tamilnadu.
  8. Sugarcane is cultivated in 30,903 Hectares and it occupied 6th place in area, 3rd place in terms of Cone production & Gur production in Tamilnadu.
  9. Tobacco is cultivated in 4923 Hectares which is the top most place in the state and 3rd place in productivity followed by Nagapattinam & Coimbatore Districts.
  10. Horsegram is cultivated in 8772 Hectares which occupies 3rd place in terms of cropped area in the state.


Erode is a major horticulture belt in the state. Almost all the fruits, vegetables, spices, flowers and plantation varieties are grown here.

This district is well known for turmeric. Turmeric is grown in 14533 hectares, which occupies the first position in area under turmeric in the state of Tamilnadu. Erode turmeric is sent throughout the country. Chillies is another spice grown in 1200 hectares. During 1999-2000, 30883 hectares are coming under horticultural crops. Area under fresh fruits accounted to 5885 hectares, dry fruits 7 hectares and area under vegetables to 8973 hectares. Banana is the main plantation crop. Banana has been cultivated in 4637 hectares. Mango, Guava, Orange & Lemon are other important fruits. Tapioca is the main vegetable cultivated in 3938 hectares, followed by onion in 2026 hectares. Yarn, Tomato, Drumstick and Brinjal are the other important vegetables grown here. Coffee is the another plantation crop grown in 63 hectares.

There is a lot of scope for further development in the cultivation of horticulture crops, especially fruits & vegetables. It is found that this district has produced 87198 M.T. of turmeric during 1999-2000. But it has not been exploited so far except for food products - masala powder. Other products like Oleoresin, Cosmetics, Medicines, Dyes etc. based on turmeric has not been exploited.

High Lights

  • Turmeric is cultivated in 14533 Hectares followed by Chilies and Tamarind.
  • This district occupies the first position in area and 2nd place in productivity next to Coimbatore District in the state under turmeric. The main areas are Modakurichi, Kodumudi, Gobi, T.N.Palayam, Perundurai, Sathy blocks.
  • Banana has been cultivated in 4637 Hectares followed by Mango.
  • Tapioca has been cultivated in 3938 Hectares.
  • Onion has been cultivated in 2026 Hectares in this district which occupied 3 rd place in cropped area and 2nd place in productivity next to Coimbatore District.

Area and yield of select crop in Erode District During the year 1999-2000

Name of cropNormal area
in Erode Dt.
Area under the
crop during 1999-
2000 (in Hectares)
Total Production
During 1999-2000
(in Tonnes)
Yield per Hectare
during 1999-2000
(in Tonnes)
  Erode ErodeErode
Rice(Paddy) 60,000 64,475 3,11,865 4.837
Jowar13,00012,42313,665 1.100
Maize 3,000 5,28312,150 2.300
Redgram 1,700 2,913 2,9131.000
Greengram 4,300 8,448 5,069 0.600
Blackgram1,800 6,940 4,1640.600
Bengalgram -- -- -- --
Horsegram 6,700 9,806 3,432 0.350
Groundnut 65,000 61,071 1,20,309 1.970
Gingelly 18,000 29,914 24,409 0.816
Sugarcane 24,500 23,853 2,93,800126
Tobacco 5,200 3,797 6,075 1.600
Tapioca 4,600 3,938 9,845 47.900
Chillies 1,360 1,2003,000 2.500
Tamarind 250 152 152 6.000
Onion 3,000 2,026 20,260 10.000
Cotton (in Bales
of 170 Kg/lint)
10,7009,074 27,6753.050
Banana5,200 4,6371,15,92525.000
Mango 750 813 4,065 5.000
Grapes -- 33010.000
Tomato 75052210,44020.000
Coconut  11,0221653Lakh Nuts15000 Nuts
Cumbu2,0001,117 1,7311.500

High Lights

  1. Total produce of Gingelly is highest in the state.
  2. Total produce of Turmeric is highest in the state
  3. .
  4. Sugarcane yield stands 3 rd place next to Salem & Namakkal Districts
  5. Area under tobacco is highest in the state.
  6. Onion cultivation occupies 2 nd place in yield & 3rd place in cropped area in Tamil Nadu.
  7. Horsegram cultivation ranks 3rd place in terms of cropped area in the state.
  8. Ragi cultivation ranks 5th place in terms of cropped area in the state.


Erode district is having good prospects for floriculture. Presently floriculture is done in 1838 Hectares. Marigold and Jasmine are the main flowers.


Sericulture plays an important role in employment generation. The sericulture department trains the farmers in mulberry cultivation and silkworm rearing. It also extends the technical guidance to the farmers at their farms. Area under mulberry is in the declining trend from 1995-96. It was 1512 Hectares during 1995-96 and it decreased to 615 Hectares during 1999-2000

The reasons for decline in the area under mulberry are

  1. Declining trend of income in mulberry cultivation and silk worm rearing
  2. Cost of production increased over the years whereas the price of cocoons not increased considerably
  3. Farmers are switching over to alternate crops like Oil Seeds, Sugarcane due to comparatively higher returns

Cocoon production in this district is at present 400 tonnes valued Rs469.92 lakhs. There are two Regulated Markets functioning one at Erode and another at Thalavady for marketing cocoons. However, Farmers are prefering Coimbatore for marketing their cocoons because of better price and good demand. There are 13 silk reeling units during 1995-96 in this district, and came down to 9 during 1999-2000.

There are 3 silk weaving centres in this district at Sathyamangalam, Anthiyur and Vellakoil under KVIB. The total production of silk sarees are Rs.57.06 lakhs in value and providing employment to 44 persons.

The production details of cocoon and silk yarn is furnished in the following table.

YearArea under mulberry
(in Hectares)
Cocoon ProductionNo.of Silk reeling unitsProduction of Silk Yarn
(in tonnes)
( lakhs)
(in tonnes)
( lakhs)
1995-96 1512 760 721.42 13 58.5 702.02
1997-98 742 406 458.66 8 33.2 416.07
1998-99 664 407467.53 10 32.1 416.15

The area of concentration of mulberry cultivation are Kundadam, Thalavadi, Gobi, Bhavani, Sathy and Anthiyur blocks.


Erode District is an inland district. Fishing activity in this district is, therefore restricted to inland fishing only. There are vast sources of inland fishing in this district. Fish production in this district was 2400 tonnes during 1999-2000. The total area suitable for Inland fishing is approximately 9000 Hectares. There is enormous scope for increasing inland fixing activities which will increase the industrial activities like fish processing etc. Cauveri river, Bhavani river, Amaravathi river, Bhavani sagar dam, Kodiveri dam are the major source of inland fishing. Besides these, there are a number of small ponds and tanks in this district which are also considerably contributing to fishing activities in this district.

Annual fish catch in Erode District for the past 4 years are furnished below.


YearWater area suitable for
Inland fishing (in Hectares)
Annual fish catch
( in tonnes)
1996-97 9000 2290
1997-98 9000 1345
1998-99 9000 2427
1999-2000 9000 2400


The district has fairly rich cattle and bovine population. Hence it has a well developed dairy sector. Dairy farming, sheep rearing, poultry farming are important supplementary activities in this district. Poultry farms are dominated in Erode, Modakurichi, Kodumudi, Perundurai, Uthukuli, Bhavani, Vellakoil, Dharapuram, Kundadam and Mulanur blocks.

Animal Population in Erode District

Animal Population
as on
yield per
animal / year
as on
yield per animal/
year 1996-97
Cattle 6,17,986 (Milk) 1260 Lrs 6,44,743 (Milk) 1218 Lrs
Sheep 3,53,223 --- 5,52,326 ---
Goat 2,40,784 --- 2,98,073 ---
Layers 25,58,400 Egg:2,11,74,640/Day 21,00,000 Egg:13,00,000/Day
Broilers16,61,036 Meat:29,06,813 kg 4,60,000 8,05,000 kg

Production of milk during 1999-2000 is 716.4 lakh ltrs worth Rs.6376.9 lakhs as per the Erode District Milk Producers Coop Federaion. Apart from the cooperative sector, milk is procured by the private persons. In poultry, this district is producing 21,74,640 eggs per day and 29,06,813 kgs of broiler meat during 1999-2000.

Considering the Cattle, Sheep, Goat population there is a good scope for development in Dairy Products and tannery sector.


The district cannot boast a great mineral wealth. However, it has a few varied items of significance. Feldspar of fine quality is found in abundance. Both opaque and translucent varieties are found in large quantities. Mica also occurs in Vairavamangalam near Bhavani and prospecting in recent times have revealed the presence of Muscovite near Punjai Puliampatti. In a few places in Bhavani and in a few tracts in Perundurai, Asbestos is found to occur.

Most significant of all deposit in the availability of rich iron ore in Doddacombai forest in Gobichettipalayam. Iron ore from here is found to be very fine quality being particularly rich in metal. Traces of Gold also have been found in a few auriferous views in Gobichettipalayam.

Major Mineral

Major minerals quartz and Feldspar are occuring in this district mainly in Kangayam, Dharapuram and Perundurai Taluks. Quarts available here is of good qual;ity and is used in electronic industry and the Feldspar is consumed by the ceramic industry.

Minor Minerals

  1. Black Granite: Black Granite is occuring in Thalavadi, Mallanguli, Thingalur in Sathyamangalam Taluk and in Bargur and Nerinjipettai areas of Bhavani Taluk. Black Granite available is medium black in colour with green background and white spots.
  2. Multi Colour Granite: Multi Colour Granites are found in Mallanguli, Alambadi, Sivanmalai areas.
  3. Rough Stone: Rough stone for construction are available in all the taluks in particular Roughstone quaries and jalli crushers have been established in Uthukuli, Kangayam, Ammapettai, Bhavanisagar areas.
  4. Sand: Sand deposits are available in Bhavani, Cauveri and Amaravathy river beds. Sand leases had been granted in Bhavani and Cauveri river beds.

No.of mining & quarrying units in Erode District

Sl.NoTaluk No.of Mining &
Quarrying units
1 Erode 20
2Perundurai 57
3 Bhavani 46
4 Gobichettipalayam 27
5 Sathyamangalam 59
6Kangayam 95
7 Dharapuram 8

Source: Assistant Director, Geology & Mines.

The production details of mineral in Erode District is given in the following table.



Sl. No Items Production
Quantity in M.T.Quantity in M.T. Quantity in M.T. Quantity in M.T. Quantity in M.T.
1Quartz 17530 24760 17280 1626016168.766
2Feldspar 4820 8750 6410 3950 6221.40
3 Roughstone 5859 35620 44349 49793 68637.50
4Sand 7527 21309 13370 35648 29738
5Black Granite in cbm. 1575.804 2163.552 2253.416 2045.866 2476.712
6Colour Granite in cbm. 243.744 514.826 605.002 531.491 301.402