Nagaland, with a total land area of 16,579 sq km, is one of the hill States located in the extreme North-Eastern part of India. The State is mostly mountainous, except those areas bordering the Assam valley. Mount Saramati is the highest peak in Nagaland with a height of 3,840 metres, and its range forms a natural barrier between Nagaland and Myanmar. Due to its strategic location, the State has a huge potential to develop into an international business and trade hub in the East Asian region.
Nagaland has increasingly become a preferred investment destination in the country. It is highly endowed with fertile soil, plentiful rainfall, salubrious climate, large number of plant and animal species and availability of vacant land for plantation purposes. All of these create a favorable condition for producing various types of agricultural products and agriculture and allied sectors of Nagaland, in turn, offer good inputs for development of a host of industries namely, floriculture, horticulture, rubber plantation, dairy and allied products, sericulture, tea cultivation and processing, bamboo shoot preservation, mushroom cultivation and processing, poultry farming and many more. Also, there is a great potential in the information technology industry of the State. In addition, Nagaland's rich forest reserve base and scenic beauty makes it an ideal tourist hotspot.
Nagaland is basically a land of agriculture, with about 70 per cent of the population depended on it. Rice is the staple food of the state and occupies about 70 per cent of the total area under cultivation and constitutes about 75 per cent of the total food production in the State. Other major crops are maize, wheat, millets, grams, mustard, cotton, jute, sugarcane, tea and rubber. The major land use pattern is ‘slash and burn cultivation’ locally known as ‘Jhum’. Area under jhum cultivation is about 1,01,400 hectares. Out of the total land area of 16,57,587 hectares, forest area occupy approximately 8,35,436 hectares. Nagaland is rich in forest products such as timber, cane and bamboo, flora and fauna. Besides, the total area under irrigation covers 93,231.43 hectares.
Horticulture is considered to be the most suitable farming endeavor of the State. The altitude of the State varies from 100 meters to an altitude of 3,840 meters in the interior of the State, which provide favorable conditions for growing different varieties of tropical and sub-tropical fruits and vegetables. While the major vegetables are Ginger, Garlic, Chilly, Tomato, Potato and Cabbage, the major fruits are Banana, Pineapple, Orange, Passion Fruit, Pears, Plum and Sweet potato.
Floriculture can be another viable industry in the state of Nagaland. The wide variety of orchids available in the State can be exported to earn valuable foreign exchange. There are also many species of orchids available in Nagaland which has tremendous commercial potential. There is a scope to grow exotic and new varieties of orchids through tissues. Then, several medicinal herbs and plants are abundantly available in the hilly regions Nagaland.
Besides, the agro-climatic condition is very encouraging for the development of Sericulture in the State. The four main varieties of silk worms reared in the State are Eri, Mulberry, Oak Tasar and Muga. Sericulture Demonstration Farms and spinning units have also been set up in the State for promoting this sector.
MINERAL BASED INDUSTRY
Nagaland is rich in mineral resources. The exploration carried out by the State Geology and Mining Department, Geological Survey of India, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd and many others have resulted in the establishment of several mineral reserves in the state. Some of these are: petroleum and natural gas, coal, high grade limestone, nickel-cobalt-chromium bearing magnetite ore, marble and dimensional/decorative stones, basalt, dunite, granodiorite, serpentine, and quartzite. But, there is an urgent need for enhancing the pace of exploration, especially for those untapped potential for hydro-carbon deposits and metallic deposits, by infusing latest technology and required funds from domestic and foreign investors. Also, the huge reserves of more than 1000 million tons of high chemical grade limestone in the Eastern Nagaland is a major prospect for setting up mineral resource based industries in the region.
HANDLOOM AND HANDICRAFT
The Handicrafts and handloom sector of Nagaland has vast potential for growth due to the availability of skilled labor and raw materials in abundance, as well as due to the rich cultural traditions of the local people. Most of the handicrafts and handloom industries of Nagaland are cottage or small scale industries which are mainly being managed by cooperative societies. The Nagaland Handloom and Handicrafts Development Cooperation Ltd. in Dimapur is the State owned Corporation which is responsible for promotion and marketing handloom and handicraft products in the State. The handicrafts and handloom products of Nagaland are well known for the beauty and intricacies of work. These products have widespread appeal and demand in the domestic as well as offshore markets. The natural skills of the people of Nagaland lie in basketry, pottery, cultivation, spinning and weaving, carving and dyeing metal work. The colorful shawls, bags and jackets woven by them are extremely popular. They are also excellent woodcarvers and famous worldwide for their art of woodcarving. As cane and bamboo grow abundantly in the forests and hills of the State and are readily available, the natives of the land have become experts in basket making. Basketry is carried out in almost every village of the State. Besides basketry, artisans of the State have also started making furniture and a wide variety of decorative items.
Nagaland is also referred to as the ‘Switzerland of the East’. It is endowed with gracefully charming landscape, lush green forests and evergreen deep valleys. It is blessed with a temperate climate throughout the year, thereby providing the right environment for travel and adventure activities. The Government of Nagaland is now involved in developing amusement parks, ropeways, exotic resorts and hotels in order to prepare the right infrastructure for all types of tourists. Further, by relaxation of Restricted Area Permit (RAP), the State has opened up opportunities for the international tourist and, a good number of foreign as well as domestic tourists have already visiting Nagaland every year. Nagaland aptly being described as the 'Land of Festivals', there is limitless potential for the tourism industry.
All these above mentioned advantageous features provide conducive climate for attracting significant investments into the State. Accordingly, the Government of Nagaland has announced several policies and schemes so as to motivate entrepreneurs to set up their industrial units in the State.