Erode is one of the industrially developed districts of Tamil Nadu and industry and trade occupy prominent positions in the economy of the district. Earlier, handloom and carpet manufacturing were the two most important industries of Erode. In the modern era, the carpet manufacturing industry has been obsolete and the handloom industry has been largely replaced by the power loom, but still in several pockets, handloom industry still thrives. Erode has 24189 registered SSI units as on December, 2000 besides 59 Large Scale Units. Apart from power loom and handloom, the district has high concentration of rice mills, edible oil expelling units, printing presses, tanneries, chemical and plastic products, paper-based products, basic metal producing units etc.
Infrastructure of Erode
In any economy, infrastructure is the most important factor as well as the promoter of different types of industrial activities. Erode has good supply of of power, water, proper transportation facilities, creation of industrial estates, technical knowledge of the persons, proper finance etc are important issues in infrastructure for industrial development.
Small Scale Industries in Erode
In Erode, small scale industries are providing large scale of employment opportunities, only next to agriculture. The main reason behind is that it give employment opportunity to many people in a fairly low capital investment. A wide industrial base, and different industries scattered in rural regions and concentration of specific industries in specific areas make small scale industries very much in demand in the map of Erode’s economy. Erode has the highest number of units in beverages, jute, hemp and mesta textile products, and it is second in food products and cotton textiles.
Large Scale Industries in Erode
There are around 70 large scale industries in Erode. 57 of these are cotton textile units. The other important large scale industries in Erode are engineering industries (3), sugar mills (7), oil extraction (1) and 7 other different large scale industrial units. A number of large industrial groups have established their textile mills in Erode. As per the census of 2001, the urban workforce participation rate of Erode is 35%. Erode city, as the headquarters of the district have registered significant growth in both the secondary and tertiary sectors, but for a long time it has showed a decrease in the primary sector. Major employment opportunities in Erode city are provided by textile industry, turmeric industry and oil industry. Around 69% of the total workforce of Erode city is engaged in the tertiary sector and there are two large industrial estates in the district altogether.
Cottage Industries in Erode
Similar to the small scale industries, the cottage industries also provides large scale employment opportunities with low cost investment. In the district there is a total of 5915 registered cottage industries (as per the record of 31.03.2002) and these units together provide employment to 6018 persons. Tailoring units, weaving of cotton, wool, silk and jute products, leather products, coir products, gem cutting, pickle and mixture manufacturing, bidi manufacturing, coconut leaf thatching, puffed rice, wood industry, dry fruit and vegetables, pottery, bamboo basket manufacturing are some of the important cottage industries of Erode.
Handicraft Units in Erode
Handicraft units are also a great source of employment to the rural artisans. The important handicraft units present in Erode district are readymade garments, handloom cloths, leather, agarbathi, carpets, palm leaf articles, perfumes, artistic painting, jewellery manufacturing, bamboo and cane based product manufacturing, hand printing, wood based works, embroiding works etc. Handicrafts are sold in the markets of Erode city and they are purchased by traders from different parts of India. Some of the handicrafts are also sold in different foreign markets.