Business and Economy of BetulBetul is one of the fast developing part of Madhya Pradesh. Though it is least industrially developed its progress in agricultural front is praise worthy. Nonetheless, decade long political stability in Madhya Pradesh state has surely rendered a grimmer of hope for districts like Betul. Here is a brief economic and business profile of Betul .
Agrarian Economy of BetulAgriculture is the main lifeline of Betul, as has been mentioned in the introduction itself. Today more than 60% of Betul’s total work force is engaged in agriculture. Besides, bulk of the total land area in the district is also taken up by agriculture sector. Betul’s dependency on agriculture also receives much needed help from critical positive factors like availability of fertile land and more than moderate annual rainfall. Betul’s agriculture industry however suffers from shortage and scarcity of water. Irrigation facilities and resources to access underground water does exist, but they still can’t meet the total water demand needed for maximizing agriculture production. Soybean, Maize, Sorghum, Pigeonpea, Sugarcane, Wheat, Lentil, Rice are the main and the most grown crop that supports Betul’s agriculture industry. While these crops help in sustaining domestic economy of Betul, they are also obviously exported to neighboring districts and states.
Forest Industry in Betul
Besides a pretty robust agriculture sector, Betul also has a very booming forest industry. This is obviously all thanks to rich biodiversity and flora that Betul is bestowed with. In fact Betul is believed to be home to one of the largest reservoirs of wood in entire Asian continent. Hence varied types of wood including the popular Teak Wood is exported in huge quantity from Betul. Besides, important medical and commercial plants like Haldu, Saja, Dhaoda and Tendu are also found in huge quantity here. The resilient and robust forest industry supplements the much needed livelihood to advasi Gond tribe, who mostly live near the forest area.
Industrial Sector in BetulBetul’s Industrial Sector has never ever witnessed any substantial growth and even today continues to be one of the weakest links in its entire economy. Betul’s failure in industrialization is surely owing to its social backwardness. But another undoing and hindering factor has been the fact that its border district. It is located on the very outskirts of the southern part of Madhya Pradesh state. The extreme geographical location definitely led to decades of economic and political apathy by state government.
As per the survey conducted in 2011 by MSME (Ministry of small and medium enterprises), there are over 300 (approximately) industrial units operating in the district. Most of which are either small or medium scale enterprises. Here are the details of the existing micro and small scale industries in the district.
Agro based – 5 units.
Ready-made garments & embroidery – 193 units.
Wood/wooden based furniture – 31 units.
Leather based – 02 units.
Chemical based industries – 04 units.
Metal based industries – 08 units.
Engineering Units – 06 units.
Repairing & Servicing – 130 units.
The above mentioned micro and small scale units have obviously generated lots of employment opportunities in the district, but comparatively lesser than agriculture sector. Employment opportunities in industrial sector though can grow significantly, provided Betul is able to exploit new potential areas to expand its minuscule industrial sector. And according to MSME, Betul does have potential for new medium and small enterprises like Spice Powders, Fodder, Steel furniture, Agriculture Implements, Aagarbati, Dal Mills, Dairy Product, Bakery, Herbal Products, Readymade Garments, Artificial Jewelry
Corrugated boxes, Wooden Toys and Washing powder. These potential medium and small enterprises would materialize only if Betul is able to overcome its many infrastructure related problems.
Madhya Pradesh state government has already taken care of the load shedding problem to a great extent. Today Betul district is one of the many districts in Madya Pradesh that is receiving 24/7 electricity. Uninterrupted availability of power will surely give huge boost to industrial development in the district. Nonetheless, other challenges like developing new industrial zones/areas, forming industrial bodies, providing financial assistance etc are still to be overcome.