The economy of the Ganjam District is supported by both industry and agriculture. The District is well known for its food grain production and its export. The agricultural sector supplies about 75 percent of the total workforce of the Ganjam District. The animal husbandry also adds economical support to the District. There are a considerable section of people who are living on animal rearing. The share of industries in the economic development of Ganjam District is also important. Ganjam District has store a variety of economically important minerals like limestone, soapstone, chinaclay, fireclay, graphite, granite and quartz.
Agriculture forms the backbone of the District’s economy, with more than 70 Percent of the population being dependent on it. The district has alluvial soil at the eastern part (coastal region) and late rite soil on the west (hilly table land) with small patches of black cotton soil at the centre and in the north east close to Chilika. This helps in obtaining a substantial agricultural yield. Availability of mineral resources and forest resources also contributes to the District’s economy.
Abrasives and grinding materials, lime stone (kankar), manganese, monazite, sand and talc are some of the chief economic minerals found in the District. Black granite stones are abundantly available in the District, sustaining the stone crushing and stone polishing units. Matikhala mines, operated by Indian Rare Earths Limited (IRE) is one mine in the District that exploits sand deposits containing monazite, zircon and rutile illuminate.
The forests of the District provide a wide range of raw materials contributing to its economic growth. Timber, bamboo, tamarind, mahua, resin, kendu leaves, siali leaves, sal leaves, neem and karanja seeds are the main forest products. As regards livestock resources, the rich live stock population of the District contributes in its own way to the District’s economic development. This District fulfills the major portion of the total lime needs of the state, with the rich resource of lime shells that its long coast line offers. Ganjam and Humma area and the area near the mouth of river Bahuda and Rushikulya are the rich sources of salt production, catering not only to the needs of the District but also of the state. There are a number of industries functioning in the District. The District also has three industrial estates, located at Brahmapur, Bhanjanagar and Chatrapur respectively.
Most of the educated youths of poor households are migrating to various cities of Gujarat, India for breadwinning. It covers a major migrated population of Ganjam District and affects the district economy significantly.