As a rural region, most of its economy has been based on agriculture, plantations, and forestry. Kodagu is one of the more prosperous parts of Karnataka. This is based primarily on its production of coffee and other plantation products. Rice is cultivated in the valleys. A variety of other agricultural crops are also grown. Plantations of coffee became a characteristic of the district through the 20th century. They are typically planted on hillsides too steep for rice growing, and use the shade of existing forests. Coffee has been the source of much local wealth. In recent years, tourism of various types has started to become more important. In particular, plantation houses have been converted to take visitors, and walking and trekking holidays have become common.