Agriculture forms the mainstay of the population of the district. The soil in the three natural divisions generally fall under three types. In the highland region it is laterite. In the midland, the soil is a red ferruginous loam of laterite origin with an admixture of clay and sand. The coastal strip is sandy. Diversity of crops and heterogeneity in cultivation are the key notes of agriculture here.
The eastern tract comprises of forests and hilly areas. The forests comprise of a variety of timber with teak and other plantations. The hilly areas are mostly cleared and put to private cultivation; the important crops being rubber, cashew and ginger. In the skeletal plateau areas, cashew trees are cultivated, while in some patches, arecanut, pepper and cocoa are grown. In the coastal tract, paddy, coconut, arecanut, cashew, tobacco, vegetable and tapioca are cultivated.
Reserve Forests-Adoor, Eleri, Karudukka, Maloth, Parappa, Panathady and Muliyar are some of the reserve forests in the district. These forest area have different types of medicinal plants and shrubs.
Mangrove Forests- ("Kandal kadukal")-Once the river-sea joining lands were abundant with these forests. But now they are seen only in Chittari, Manjeshwar, Mogral, Uppala, Shiriya rivers.
In the field of health and sanitation, the district lacks modern facilities. Patients requiring technologically advanced treatment are forced to go to Manglore, Manipal or Kozhikode.
The literacy rate of the district is 82.51%.
Kasaragod district has vast potentials for the establishment of large and medium industries, but the district is at present industrially backward. There is no major industry here.
Large Scale Units : Nil
Medium Industry : Two
Small Scale Industry Units : 5,759
Industrial Co-op. Societies : 62
Handloom Societies : 8
Small Scale Units- Agro based , Rubber based , Plastic based , Forest based , Animal Husbandry , Textiles based , Chemicals based , Engineering based , Electronics based , Minerals , Building materials etc
For clay based art ware : Bedadka
For wood based Industry : Kasaragod
For Handicrafts : Ananthapuram
Kasargod district has an 80 kms. long sea coast extending from Trikaripur to Bangra-Manjeshwar. There are many fish landing centers in this district and transporting facilities.
Bangra-Manjeshwar, Shriya, Koipady, Kavugoly, Kasaba, Kizhur, Kottikilam, Pallikara, Ajanur, Hosdurg Kadappuram, Thaikadappuram, Punjavi Kadappuram, Padanna Kadappuram, Kadankod, Valiyaparamba and Trikaripur Kadapuram are the fishing villages in this district.
There is a light house at Kasargod. There are many ice plants in the public and private sectors.
Two Employment Exchanges are functioning in the district. One is the District Employment Exchange functioning at Kasargod (for unemployed persons of Kasargod Taluk) and the other is the Town Employment Exchange, functioning at Kanhangad town (for Hosdurg Taluk). The Employment Information and Assistance Bureau is Manjeshwar Block Office.