Agriculture continues to be the most predominant sector of the District economy, as 30 percent of the population is engaged in Agriculture and allied activities for their livelihood. The District has as an area of 520530 Ha with net cultivated area of around 220138Ha. The Government policy and objectives have been to ensure stability in agricultural production and to increase the agricultural production in a sustainable manner to meet the food requirement of growing population and also to meet the raw material needs of agro based industries, thereby providing employment opportunities to the rural population.
Salem District has all along been one of the Districts in the state with a creditable performance in agricultural production with the farmers relatively more responsive and receptive to changing technologies and market forces.
The Agriculture Department has taken up the challenge to achieve higher growth rate in agriculture by implementing several development schemes and also propagation of relevant technologies to step up the production. Intensive Integrated Farming System-NMSA, Massive Wasteland Development Programme, Mission on Sustainable Dry land Agriculture,Collective farming, Comprehensive watershed development activities, Water management through Micro Irrigation Systems,Soil health improvement through Bio-Fertiliser including Green Manuring, Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative, Organic farming, adoption of Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technologies are given priority through various programmes, besides crop diversification to fetch better return and value addition to agricultural produce are also given priority to improve the economic status of the farming community of the district.