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Agro Based Industries

Cotton, jute, silk and woollen textiles, sugarcane and vegetable oil industries are based on agricultural raw materials.


This industry is very significant in India because of the following reasons

  • Provides employment for 35 million people.( second largest after agriculture).
  • Contributes 14% to the total industrial production.
  • Contributes 4% towards the GDP.
  • Only industry in India which is self-reliant.

Cotton Textile Industry

Hand spun cotton textiles were were being used in India since the ancient times.


Powerlooms came into existence after the 18th century.

The traditional cotton textile industry suffered a serious setback during the colonial period due to the competition with the mill made cloth from England.

Initially, the cotton textile industry was concentrated in the cotton growing region of the Deccan Trap which include the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The reasons for their concentration are as follows:-
Availability of raw material as this region is a cotton growing region.

  • Wide market.
  • Good transport facilities.
  • This region is easily accessible to port.
  • Availability of cheap labour in this region.
  • Prevalence of moist climate for the processing of the cotton.

This industry provides a living to farmers, cotton boll pluckers & workers and other people involved in ginning(separation of seeds from the cotton), spinning, weaving, dyeing, designing, tailoring and packing.

It also supports many other industries by creating demands.

Spinning is still centralised in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu but weaving is highly decentralised.

Weaving is done by handloom, powerloom and mills. Mill is a place where all the processes involved (ginning to tailoring) in the cotton textile industry.







Spinning khadi provides employment to a large number of people in the villages.

Women spinning khadi in their house


India exports its cotton goods to countries like U.S.A,U.K, Russia, France, East European countries, Nepal, Singapore Sri Lanka and other African countries.


                                Major cotton textile centres of India

One third of the world's yarn trade is done by India but it only accounts for 4% of the world's garments trade.

This is because we have very advanced spinning mills in the country which are highly competitive at the global level where as our weaving oa knitting units are not in a position to use the high quality yarn produced by our spinning mills.

Hence, good quality yarn is exported to other countries for the production of fabric and our garment makers are forced to import fabric.

Problems faced by cotton textile industry of India

  • Lack of good quality cotton
  • Erratic power supply
  • Obsolete machinery
  • Low output of labour
  • Stiff competition with synthetic fibre industry
  • Frequent lockouts and strikes

Jute Textiles

India ranks number one in the production of raw jute and second in the export of jute



There are about 70 jute mills in the country and most of them are located on the banks of Hooghly river in West Bengal.

Factors responsible for concentration of Jute mills along the banks of river Hooghly
Availability of raw material as this region is a major jute producing area.

  • Cheap wat4er transport as Hooghly is a navigable and perinnial river.
  • This region has good network of roadways, railways for moving the raw material to the mills.
  • Enough water supply from Hooghly river for the processing of jute.
  • Availability of cheap labour as this region is thickly populated.
  • Nearness to Kolkatta port for export of jute products.
  • Availability of good banking and insurance facilities.

This industry supports 2.61 lakh workers directly and also 40 lakh farmers who are involved in the production of Jute and Mesta.

Mesta Plant and Fibre

Challenges faced by Jute Industry

  • Stiff competition in the international market form countries like Bangladesh, Brazi, Philliphines, etc
  • Stiff competition with synthetic products as they are durable and dyeable.

However, the National Jute Policy formulated for increasing the productivity and the growing global concern for eco friendly and biodegradable products has is a good news for this industry.

India exports jute goods to U.S.A., Canada, Russia, U.A.E., U.K. And Australia.

Sugar Industry


Sugar Industry

India ranks second in the production of sugar, but occupies the first position in the production of gur and khandsari.

Gur(Jaggery)                        Khandsari

The sugar mills are always located near the sugar producing areas as the raw material is heavy and its sucrose content keeps reducing after it is harvested.

There are more than 460 sugar mills in India and nearly 60% of them are located in the states of Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.

This industry is also flourishing in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, TamilNadu Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

This industry is ideal for co-operative sector as it is a seasonal industry.

More number of mills are coming in the southern and western states in the recent years since the sucrose content in the sugarcane cultivated here is high.

Challenges faced by Sugar Industry

  • Seasonal nature of the industry.
  • Out dated methods of production.
  • Transport delay in reaching sugarcane to factories.
  • Minimum use of baggase.

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