Business and Economy in PurniaPurnia is strategically located in the eastern side of the state of Bihar in close proximity to Nepal in the north, West Bengal in the east and many other important cities in Bihar. The region is now growing into the regional healthcare hub owing to increasing number of healthcare facilities and service providers in the district. Purnia is an important trade center and is a focal point of agriculture and ancillary industries. Agriculture is the main economic activity in the district and employs close to 80% of the population here. Apart from this, healthcare and education are also seeing an increase in growth in the district.
Economic History of PurniaPurnia has always been known as an important strategic frontier town. The city has always been an important trade route and the center of the eastern zone. During the Mughal times, the city was fortified heavily to protect invasion from the north. But during British times, the city grew in importance due to the indigo cultivation which became the primary occupation in the region.
After the introduction of artificial and synthetic colors, indigo cultivation lost its importance and the cultivation of jute and rice was started extensively. The region is now under the Backward regions grant fund of the Central Government and is getting fund to improve the social parameters of the population here.
Economic Structure of Purnia
The competitive advantage of Purnia lies in the fact that it is one of the major transportation hubs in the region and is well connected with both the National and State highways. The region is also close to the Saura river and is rich in mineral resources. The main occupation is agriculture and the most important crop is jute. The Maranga industrial estate which is located just about 7km from the city has Hindustan Petroleum Gas station, Jute mills, Agro industries etc and is an important economic place in the district.The main economic activity in the district is the Primary sector comprising of agriculture. The tertiary sector which mainly comprises of education and healthcare industries is fast gaining ground contributes almost 46% to the state exchequer. The secondary sector is the least developed and this can be seen in the lack of any large industries of note.
Agriculture in PurniaAgriculture is the primary economic activity in the district. Since the district lies in the resource rich parts of the Gangetic plain, agriculture is the most thriving activity. The major problem for agriculture in the region is the frequent course changing of the Kosi river which is resulting in sandy and boulder deposits which are affecting the fertility of the soil. Since there is also frequent flooding of the river banks, the region is well suited for immersed crops and crops which require larger percentage of water like Jute and Rice. These are the main crops which are grown in the region.
The other major crops grown here are maize, wheat, gram, masoor, tobacco, makhana etc. Maize and makhana are the crops which are gaining importance these days. The district grows about 85% of the total production of Makhana in the country and has immense potential. The Government of Bihar along with the district administration is also playing a major role by providing easy loans to the farmers of the region.
Agro-based Industries in Purnia
The second most important activity in the district is the agro based industries which revolve around processing of food crops and livestock and poultry industry. Jute production and processing is an important industry in the region. There are some small and mid sized manufacturing companies producing bags, ropes and other jute products. There are newer small and medium scale industries which are mushrooming these days and these are involved in value adding to the products and making them suitable for export. Horticulture produce processing is also gaining importance these days. Since the district is well connected to all the nearby cities by road and rail, there is ease and convenience of transport of finished good to the market.
Healthcare Industry in PurniaPurnia has the potential to be developed into a regional healthcare hub and also great potential for medical tourism. The city has about 500 practicing medical professionals which is by far the biggest for a city of its size. The healthcare industry currently contributes about 800 cr annually. The city has one 250 bed government hospital, a dispensary, a family welfare center, a TB clinic and a few nursing homes.
There is an urgent need for more infrastructure to make the city attractive to medical tourists. The city lacks facilities for a trauma center and has an urgent need of multispecialty hospitals. Ancillary industries like hotels and guest houses to accommodate the increasing number of medical tourists and their relatives is also essential.
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