Economy of Arunachal Pradesh
For about 35 percent of the population of Arunachal Pradesh, agriculture is the main occupation. Seventeen percent of total cultivated area is under irrigation. Rice, maize, millets, pulses, potatoes, Wheat and mustard are the important crops.
About 62 percent of the total area of the State is under forests. The principal industries of the State are forest-based. Besides handloom and handicraft industries, saw mills, fruit preservation units, soap and candle manufacturing, steel fabricatio0n, oil expellers are in the medium and small industrial sectors. The State has reserves of focal and crude oil. Deposits of dolomite ore, limestone, copper ore have also been reported.
Jhuming consist of clearing of a patch of jungle by cutting and burning after a particular number of years called the jhum cycle, dribbling seeds into the cleared patch by the help of a poker.
Weeding at least four times, watching and protecting the growing plants from the wild animals and birds and finally harvesting a meager mixed crop, normally just enough to feed the workers - men, woman and children who had put in about 5 to 6 months of hard labour into the patch.
The state has several medium industries based on its forest products. Plants to produce cement and fruit processing units have also come up in the state. There are a number of craft training centres and the states handloom industry has made good progress.
The people are experts in cane and bamboo basketry work. Wood carving and black smithy are found in certain villages. Iron scrapers, spear head, and Daos required for day-to-day use are made in several villages.
The first ancestors of the tribal groups migrated from Tibet during the pre-historic period, they were joined by Thai-Burmese counterparts later. Except for the northwestern parts of the state, little is known about the history of Arunachal Pradesh, although the Apatani tribe had legendary knowledge of the history.
Recorded history was only available in the Ahom chronicles during the 16th century. The tribal Monpa and Sherdukpen do keep historical records of the existence of local chiefdoms in the northwest as well.
Arunachal Pradesh's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $706 million in current prices. Agriculture is the primary driver of the economy.
Jhum, the local word for shifting cultivation, which was widely practised among the tribal groups has come to be less practiced. Arunachal Pradesh has close to 61,000 square kilometers of forests, and the forest-products are the next most significant sector of the economy. Among the crops grown here are rice, maize, millet, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, ginger and oilseeds. Arunachal is also ideal for horticulture and fruit orchards.