Agriculture and Forestry: The Imo State economy depends primarily on agriculture and commerce and the chief occupation of the people is farming. Their cash crops include oil palm, raffia palm, rice, groundnut, melon, cotton, cocoa, rubber, maize, et cetera. Food crops such as yam, cassa va, cocoyam and maize are also produced in large quantities.
The location of Imo State within the tropical rainforest gives it the ecological basis for production of a wide range of tropical agricultural crops with extensive potentialities for industrial usage.
As a strategy for enhancing agricultural development, private investors are invited to participate in direct agricultural production, by investing in the planting and cultivation of agricultural crops such as maize, rice, legumes, roots and tubers. Forestry is yet to be
fully developed in the state. Of the 490 potentially useful species, only about 100 are currently being utilized. Viable projects that investors can invest on in Imo State include, match splint and tooth pick manufacture, tissue paper production, etc. Investors can venture into the planting and cultiva tion of cashew, oil palm, oranges, citrus trees, etc.
Imo State is conducive to livestock production, especially rearing of goats and sheep. Modern poultry farming has been introduced in the state and is practised by a large number of people. Investors will find this sector attractive. The mecha nized Imo Modern Poultry Farm atAvutu, in Obowo LGA, has taken the lead in private fish farming, a sector much neglected by investors in Imo State.
Mineral Resources and Industries: Imo State has a number of mineralbased raw materials for industries. These are shown on Appendix II. Existing factory and crafts industries are classi fied into seven groups reflecting the types of major activities. These are: manufacturing, agriculture, building and construction, mining and quarrying, water, gas, electricity, services and others. There are a total of 11,607 industrial and business estab lishments in Imo State.
Out of these, 9,274 are in the services/business, 1,858 in the manufacturing sector, 416 in building and construction, fiftythree in agricultural activity, while three establishments each are in mining and quarrying as well as in water, gas and electricity.
Economic Climate: The business and industri al atmosphere in Imo State is peaceful and the peo ple are enterprising and willing to work. Private financial institutions that can financially help prospective investors, especially banks abound in the state, (Appendix V).
Although con centrated in the main urban centres, they have been extended to many rural communities in the local government areas. Also, there is the Development Finance and Investment Company, set up by the state government to develop the industrial base of the state by assisting investors.