In the vein of most of the states of India, Chhattisgarh is also inclined towards agriculture. Besides great prospects of power & electricity, the state has seen great rise in the establishment of industries. Chhattisgarh, being a mineral-rich state, contributes 20% in the country's total production of steel and cement. It also owns country's largest integrated steel plant - Bhilai Steel Plant, in its periphery. Its economy is further stimulated by the S.E.C.Railway Zone, BALCO Aluminium Plant (Korba), and NTPC Korba (National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd), and S.E.C.L. (South Eastern Coalfields Limited). Chhattisgarh is also planning to become bio-fuel self-sufficient by initiating a grand plan of planting crops of jatropha, by the year 2015.
Up till now, over 80% of the state's population relies on agriculture for their livelihood. Indeed agriculture is the main business of most tradesmen. About 43% of the total area is under cultivation, whereas 45% is occupied by forests. The main crops produced here are paddy, wheat, maize, groundnut, pulses, and oilseeds.
In the year 1999-2000, the irrigation potential of 13.39 lakh hectares was formed. Another irrigation potential of 0.18 lakh hectares was formed during 2000-01. Some of the significant irrigation projects are Ravishankar Sagar Mahanadi Project, Hasdeo-Bango, Jonk, Pairi, Kodar, and Arpa.
Korba is the hub for power generation in Chhattisgarh; actually it is the leading power generation center of India. The Electricity Board of Chhattisgarh has total capacity of 1.360 MW, in which the thermal power share is 1.240 MW. The major growth centers in Chhattisgarh are Urla and Siltara (Raipur), Borai (Durg), and Sirgitti (Bilaspur). The state supplies power to other states as well. About 90% of its inhabited villages are electrified.
As stated earlier, Chhattisgarh is loaded with mineral resources, like Iron-ore, limestone, dolomite, coal, bauxite, etc. In fact, it is the only tin-ore producing state in the country. Other minerals, such as, korandum, garnet, quartz, marble, diamond, are also found here in abundance. The NDMC, which is located in Dantewara district, is excavating iron-ore form the southern part of the state to meet the demands of the country and also exporting iron to other countries, like Japan. Of late, ESSAR has begun transporting iron ore via pipe lines to Visakhapatnam.
Some of the major districts where industrial development is occurring at fast pace are Durg, Raipur, Korba, and Bilaspur. Where Raipur district is known for having the largest number of big and small-scale cement plants, the districts of Bilaspur and Durg also address many large-scale cement plants. Besides the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) with capacity of 40 lakh tonnes, Chhattisgarh boasts of 8 iron plants in the private sector, 13 ferro-alloy plants, 125 steel rolling mills, and 1 H.R. strip plant. It also has 9 chief cement plants. The state also has iron casting units, engineering and fabrication units, agro-based food processing, and chemical and plastic industries.