India’s North Eastern Region (NER) comprises eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura – and constitutes 8% of the country’s geographical area. Among the northeastern states, Meghalaya witnessed the highest decadal population growth rate during 2001-11 while Nagaland saw the lowest.
The NER has immense natural resources, accounting for 34% of the country’s water resources and almost 40% of India’s hydropower potential. The NER is strategically located with access to the traditional domestic market of eastern India, along with proximity to the major states in the east and adjacent countries such as Bangladesh and Myanmar. The region is also a vantage entry point for the Southeast Asian markets. This resource-rich region, with its vast expanse of fertile farmland and huge untapped human capital, has the potential to be India’s most prosperous.
Despite its advantages, the NER is categorised as one of the backward regions of India, characterised by low per -capita income, a lack of private investment, low capital formation, inadequate infrastructure facilities, geographical isolation and inadequate utilisation of its mineral resources, hydropower potential, and biodiversity.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is the convenor for the North-East results group in India, collaborating with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) , and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- Under the UN Joint Initiative in Mizoram, ILO organised a training of trainers on ‘Start and Improve Your Business’ Programme for potential entrepreneurs.
- ILO also finalised and submitted the Skill Gap Survey Rreport to the Government of Mizoram.
- UNIDO provided technical advisory services to the Department of Industries’ and Bamboo Development Agency, and finalised a Bamboo Sector Survey for Mizoram.
- Under FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme, a range of initiatives in animal husbandry, farmer-field schools, and afforestation and livelihood promotion are being undertaken.
- UNDP had undertaken a value chain analysis for horticulture crops and developed a strategy for expanding market linkages. A pilot community-based natural resource management project on bamboo was undertaken to develop a comprehensive strategy for bamboo development in Mizoram. This has now been taken up by the Bamboo Development Agency, Commerce and& Industries Department of Mizoram, also as part of the UN Joint Initiative.
 FICCI (2014), “Gateway to the ASEAN: India’s North East Frontier”