Rice is grown predominantly during kharif season as rain fed crop having 2.39 lakh hectare area but the productivity of this crop is very low 08.53 qt/ha in Bastar region of Chhattishgarh. The irrigated area (1.67%) and fertilizer use (4.6 kg/ha.) in the Bastar district are very less, which is insufficient to supply adequate nutrient to the crop
The pattern of livelihood in Bastar continues to be dictated by tradition. Even today, agricultural practices are traditional. Use of wooden ploughs is overwhelming while the number of iron ploughs is negligible. The same is true of bullock carts. The number of tractors is negligible while the bullock carts are all pervasive.
The usage of traditional agricultural implements has lowered the production of agriculture. The kharif crops grown here are paddy, urad, arhar, jowar and maize. The rabi crops include til, alsi, moong, mustard and gram. Collection and sale of forest produce and other forest-related work supplements meager agricultural incomes.
Most people do not find employment all year round. The cycle of floods and droughts makes livelihoods extremely vulnerable. The people are often forced to resort to moneylenders in times of crisis, which usually means a life of continued indebtedness. The absence of alternate employment opportunities is responsible for the high incidence of poverty in the area. In the Bastar plateau, irrigation coverage is only 1.2 percent.
Exceptionally fortunate in its water resources, the region has good rainfall and rapid run off due to the undulating terrain. There is potential for rainwater harvesting.
Forests play an important role in the lives of the people, providing food security and livelihood through the collection of minor forest produce, and employment (as casual labour) in the Forest Department. The forests provide for people’s consumption needs — fuel and firewood, medicines, food and drink, implements and housing materials.