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From the years of yore, the city of Machilipatnam has always been one of the important centers of trade and a flourishing business center. Right from the English settlements to the Indian kings such as Golconda dynasty who ruled this city, this place was of utmost economic importance. Most of the trade that was established during that time was due to its strategic location of being bordered by coastline. Machilipatnam Port was one of the major sources of business. Gold, precious ornaments and muslin was traded in great quantities. Today, the city which still retains its old world charm is one of the important trade centers in the Krishna District.
Agriculture in Machilipatnam
The city is an agrarian economy and the main cultivation is paddy. Machilipatnam is rich in black soil making it a fertile land for the cultivation of various crops such as green gram, horse gram, cotton, red gram, ground nuts, etc. Tobacco, maize and black crop are among other crops that is cultivated here. The horticultural fruit variety harvested here are Mango, Banana, Guava, Papaya, etc. The vegetables cultivated in large numbers are chilly, okra, tomato and gourds.
Poultry and Animal Husbandry in Machilipatnam
Poultry and animal husbandry is also found in this city. Most of the animal husbandry happens in an unorganized way in the backyards of the houses and is used for sustenance. The animals which are reared in Machilipatnam include buffaloes, sheep and goat. Situated in the coastal side, fishing is one of most prominent occupations of the region and the city has a number of fishing hamlets and settlements around the border.
Marine Resources in Machilipatnam
Aquaculture has gained prominence over the years, and with the current government taking steps to promote aquaculture, the sector is expected to gain further momentum. Shrimps, craps, fish, catfish, etc. are farmed. Prawn and crabs are among others which are harvested, treated and marketed. The produce from here is exported to Nepal, Bangladesh, Middle Eastern and South Asian countries. The existing fishing harbor is one of the major contributors to the fish production in the district of Krishna. The Marine Fisheries Training center at Machilipatnam was set up to impart marine training which includes Marine fishing, mechanization and navigation.
Industries in Machilipatnam
One of the most important industries set up here is Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a unit of the Union Defense Ministry of the government of India which is involved in the design, development and manufacture of opto-electronic equipment that are used by the Indian Defense Services and parliamentary organizations. APIIC has also set aside 20 acres of land for the promotion of industries in this region. A total of 47 acres of land has been developed currently.
Small Scale Industries in Machilipatnam
Kalamkari Cloth Printing
Kalamkari Cloth printing is concentrated majorly in the areas of Machilipatnam, Pedana and Polavaram areas. This form of handicraft is among the most ancient craft in India and the art is highly appreciated and sold for a fortune.The name Kalamkari is derived from the main ingredient of this art i.e. Kalam which means pen and kari means workers. The significance of this industry is that, the art mainly utilizes only the natural vegetable dyes. The grey cloth is purchased from Erode and Coimbatore. First cloth is washed with cow dung and dried with green grass. The next step in this process cloth is again washed with the extracts of Mirabalam. Post this, using design blocks made of wood the cloth is printed with natural colors prepared from the vegetables.
Leather Industry of Machilipatnam
In India, livestock population holds 1st rank in cattle, buffaloes and goat population and 6th rank in sheep population where compared to world animal population. In Andhra Pradesh there are only few units to process the raw hides into finished leather. One of such places where this industry is being promoted is the city of Machilipatnam. As the tanning process is very expensive to encourage Small scale Industries to process the locally available raw materials, a Common Facility Centre it is proposed by the government in Machilipatnam, for converting semi-finished leather into a finished product and promote the rapid growth of this industry in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Imitation Jewelry of Machilipatnam
The imitation jewelry called ‘Chilakalapudi Bangaram’ is an industry that creates some of the most stunning jewelry designs seen in the movies by using imitation gold and other synthetic materials. This flourishing trade in this city involves around 200 companies and over 30000 artisans. The jewelry is exported to South East Asian and Middle East countries. Another prominent buyer of this jewelry is the South Indian film industry and drama companies that use this as accessories for the actors while making movies and plays. This is also bought by the other states in India viz. West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, and Maharashtra. Today, the Machilipatnam imitation jewelry market size is at an estimated amount of INR 500 Crore. Leading companies of manufacturing imitation jewelry in this city are: Yasari Gold, Uma Gold, National Gold, Covering works, Raja Gold, Ravi Teja Gold, Fancy Gold, Laxmana Gold, etc.
Upcoming Developments in Machilipatnam
Establishment of Special Industrial park to promote women entrepreneurs
Around 100 acres of wasteland near the seacoast at Manginapudi village of Machilipatnam Mandal has been identified for the establishment of special parks to promote women entrepreneurs to take up weaving, sari making, leather goods, etc.
Reconstruction of the Machilipatnam Port
The new port is expected to be developed in the city in the land extent of approximately 4,800 acres. The bid for the construction of new port has been won by Navayuga Engineering Company, a popular infrastructure company. This new port is expected to be technologically very advanced and have a good potential to handle coal requirements for Vijayawada Thermal Plant. Iron ore on ore at Bayyavaram and Baryte deposits in Khammam District can find way to the other parts of the world through the Machilipatnam Port. There is a proposal to develop a mega thermal Power Plant near Machilipatnam during 11th Five Year Plan. About Rs.1860 Crore investment is estimated for the development of the Port with 3 berths, breakwaters, navigational channels, floating crafts, mechanical equipment etc., in the phase-I of the project.