Traditionally, the main occupation of the people of Kakching has been the farming of crops, but greater opportunities have arisen in the last five years, including carpentry, goldsmithing, sales, construction work, as well as the raising of livestock. Additionally, the state and central governments finance self-help groups (SHGs).
Kakching is known as the granary of Manipur. Its workers produce the highest percentage of food grains in the state. The availability of proper irrigation and canal facilities has allowed farmers to practice double cropping. Rice, pulses, cereal and potatoes are the important production of this sub-division. Hand-loom and handicraft products are also made in high volume for the Kakching market.
Agriculture is the most important source of livelihood for the people of the district. More than 70 percent of the total population of the district are directly or indirectly dependent on agricultural activities. The valley is fertile and the topography of the district provides a good opportunity for irrigation, natural as well as artificial. Rice accounts for above 90% of the total land area under cultivation. In food grains, Kakching is a surplus district producing above 59670 MT of rice in 2019-2020 may be rightly termed as the ‘rice basket of Manipur’.
Other crops grown in the district are sugarcane, oilseeds, maize, potatoes, pulses, chillies, vegetables etc. The district is the largest producer of sugarcane in Manipur. Although maize is grown throughout the district, it is cultivated as a major cash crop around Serou, Pallel and Kakching belt. Oilseeds, mainly mustard seeds, are found all over the district. Recently cultivation of sunflower has also started. Vegetables such as cabbages, cauliflower, brinjal, different kinds of peas, gourds, pumpkins etc are found in abundance.
Among the plantation crops, pineapples are the most important. Although tea plantation is yet to take its shape in the district a blend of local variety of particularly good taste is grown in Pallel and Waikhong area.
Fishing provides an important occupation for a large number of people in the district. The activity is mainly conducted in the lakes and the enclosed low lands besides small ponds within the precincts of the household. Waithou, Kharung and Ikop are especially important for ‘Ngaton’, a variety of small fish noted for its taste.