Rajasthan's economy is primarily agricultural and pastoral. Wheat and barley are cultivated over large areas, as are pulses, sugarcane, and oilseeds. Cotton and tobacco are the state's cash crops. Rajasthan is among the largest producers of edible oils in India and the second largest producer of oilseeds. Rajasthan is also the biggest wool-producing state in India and the main opium producer and consumer. There are mainly two crop seasons. The water for irrigation comes from wells and tanks. The Indira Gandhi Canal irrigates northwestern Rajasthan.


The main industries are mineral based, agriculture based, and textiles. Rajasthan is the second largest producer of polyester fibre in India. The Pali and Bhilwara District produces more cloth than Bhiwandi, Maharashtra and the bhilwara is the largest city in suitings production and export and Pali is largest city in cotton and polyster in blouse pes and rubia production and export. Several prominent chemical and engineering companies are located in the city of Kota, in southern Rajasthan. Rajasthan is pre-eminent in quarrying and mining in India. The TajMahal was built from the white marble which was mined from a town called Makrana. The state is the second largest source of cement in India. It has rich salt deposits at Sambhar, copper mines at Khetri, Jhunjhunu and zinc mines at Dariba, Zawar mines at Zawarmala for zinc, RampuraAghucha (opencast) near Bhilwara.



                       Development is reflected in structure of the economy. Kuznets had found that in the development process, the contribution of agriculture would decline and the contribution of manufacturing would increase in the first stage. In the latter stage, the service sector would become important. In the recent times, Barmer has observed a structural change as depicted by district income estimates at current prices. Total income generated in 1999-2000 was Rs.165071 lakh which increased to Rs. 259338 in 2004-05; a 1.57 time increase or 9.52 percent increase (table 6.1 and fig. 6.1 & 6.2). In the recent times, the contribution of agriculture and allied sectors declined from 38.4 percent to 32.3 percent from 1999-00 to 2004-05. There is an increase in contribution of mining and manufacturing sector from 20.5 percent to 24.0 percent during this period. The contribution of service sector/ tertiary sector improved from 41.2 percent to 43.8 percent. Despite this structural transformation, one finds that contribution of agriculture sector has declined by 7.7 percentage points, while contribution of livestock sector has increased by 1.47 percentage points. Within mining and manufacturing sector, mining and registered manufacturing have gained in contribution while unregistered manufacturing has declined though still remaining an important contributor (6.53% share). Construction sector has improved contribution and in 2004-05 contributed 10.1 percent district’s income. The major activity in service sector is trade, hotel and restaurants (14.4%) and is followed by other services (7.175) and real estate activities (7.92%). However, the latter two activities have lost ground during this period. Transport, banking, railways, other transport, communication and public administration have gained in their shares in district income.


On Agriculture 

                          Agriculture depends on rainfall. However, if you bring crops from some other country/ regions thinking since those crops worked well there, they are likely to succeed here as well, it is unlikely. The soil in Rajasthan is different from the one in Israel for instance. Plants that were imported and planted here have ruined the growth of local plants. They do not allow local plants to grow. You can't transplant other people's knowledge into your own terrain. The solutions have to be local terrain specific. There is enough expertise and knowledge in the villages. Unfortunately, that's not the same in airconditioned offices. Indira Gandhi Canal is being extended. What is the progress in this regard? It's a long-term strategy and the progress has been stopped right now as the project for the Desert National Park is being executed. The canal construction cannot take place through Desert National Park. However, I am not in favour of canal as an irrigation project. My main concern is drinking water for humans and animals. Unfortunately, the government likes big projects because it involves major expenditure and makes contractors happy. They make good brochure of these projects and promote them. However, drinking water is more important than these brochures.