Kerala’s economy is very much dependent on Agriculture. 96% of India’s entire yield of pepper and 91% of natural rubber is produced in Kerala. Other important crops in the region are coconut, tea, coffee, cashew, and spices such as cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Rice is the staple food of the people of Kerala and is grown in large amounts . Home gardening is a common activity and the citizens contribute significantly to the economy by getting involved in this pleasurable pursuit.
Livestock and animal husbandry are very important to Kerala’s economy. It has been suggested as an apt occupation for the rural population, source of employment for unemployed women and the economically weaker classes of the population such as the landless. Almost 58% of Malayalis households (38 lakhs of the 55 lakh households) are involved in managing livestock and activities such as Feeding, milking, cattle breeding, livestock management, health care and many more.
3% of the state’s total economy is contributed by Fisheries . The natural landforms of the state is enriched with a huge output of marine and freshwater fish haul each year. About 10.85 lakh people earn their livelihood from fishing and activities such as drying, processing, packaging, exporting and transporting fisheries.
Forestry & Wildlife
About 10,336 sq.km of Kerala is densely forested which constitutes 26.6% of the total geographic land. A large variety of flora and fauna is there. Thus forestry and wildlife plays a major role in the Kerala’s economy. The revenue earned from export of herbs and herbal by products such as oils, hides of animals such as the jaguar, fox, elephant etc., tree barks, natural incense, scents, ivory, sandalwood, teakwood, rosewood etc contribute as a major foreign exchange.
Industry & infrastructure
A number of industries in Kerala are booming and flourishing. The textile and electronics industry in Kerala is on an all time high. Coffee, tea, cardamom, ginger, pepper coconut kernels form the bulk of the exports . Kerala has about 1.8 lakh small scale industries and about 511 medium sized and large scale industries.
Minerals & Energy
A high output of hydel power had held Kerala in good position. The constant increase in industries and an inability to undertake more hydel energy generating projects has forced the state to look towards diesel energy and thermal energy import. Kerala is the second largest diesel-based thermal electricity generator in India.
Banking & Finance
Kerala has its share of banking and financial institutions. Besides the PSUs, a number of leading private banks such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, ABN Amro Bank etc. have set up a network of retail branches and ATMs for the residents of the state. Besides traditional products these offer a variety of financial services especially NRI services owing to the extent of Malayali Diaspora.
Tourism in Kerala is the livelihood of over 7 lakh people and generates revenue of about 4000 crore rupees (Rs. 40,000 million). Kerala is popular as a tourist destination . This well guarded secret was let out in the mid 90’s when the Government of Kerala and the Department of Tourism actively started promoting the region as a cherished tourist destination.
Kerala Real Estate
The real estate sector of the state’s economy is in growth. Increase in population and increased access to home finances has increased the demand for constructing houses. While various institutions such as The Kerala State Housing Board, Rural Development Department, Kerala State Co-operative Housing Federation, Agricultural Bank and Kerala State Development Corporation are busy implementing the various housing schemes devised by the Government of Kerala.
The medical profession and the health care industry in Kerala is growing . Dentistry, cardiac sciences, oncology, ophthalmology, nursing and biotechnology are major growth fields. In the state, with the growth of medical education, there has been a spectacular increase in the number of hospitals and diagnostic centers.
With the growth in the IT sector of Kerala, it has become one of the most promising destinations in Asia for software development, e-commerce and e-business solutions. The rise in the number of professionals employed in this sector has steeply risen following the active promotion of educational institutions offering courses such as MCA, Bsc (Comp), Software Engineering etc.