terms of economic development, Mizoram has lagged behind in
comparison to the rest of the country. Cottage industry and other
small-scale industries play an important role in its current
economy. The people of Mizoram have not taken a keen responsibility
for the development of industry due to lack of market raw materials.
The industry is wanting but lately there is a much wider chance for
the development of forest products. The 9th Five Year Plan
(1997–2002) gives much priority to the "agro-based industry" as
nearly 70% of the population is engaged in agriculture.
30% of Mizoram is covered with wild bamboo forests, many of which
are largely unexploited. In spite of that, Mizoram harvests 40% of
India's 80 million-ton annual bamboo crop. The current state
administration wishes to increase revenue streams from bamboo and
aside from uses as a substitute for timber, there is research
underway to utilize bamboo more widely such as using bamboo
chippings for paper mills, bamboo charcoal for fuel, and a type of
"bamboo vinegar" which was introduced by Japanese Scientist Mr.
Hitoshi Yokota, and used as a fertilizer.
Bamboo harvests, rats and famine
Many of the plans that the administration had were disrupted with
the advent of the flowering season for bamboo in May 2006, an event
which takes place once every forty or so years.
"After the bamboo flowers, it dies and is finished," current Chief
Minister Pu Zoramthanga said in an interview to Reuters in May 2006.
"Unless we harvest it, we are going to waste billions and billions
of rupees. We have to make roads into the jungle and harvest it as
soon as possible." He admitted it will only be possible to harvest
five percent of the bamboo before it flowers.
The flowering of the bamboo leads to a dramatic increase in the
local rat population; some experts believe that the flower has an
effect on rat fertility. In a process locally known as Mautam the
increase in rodent population following the flowering led to raids
on granaries and the destruction of paddy fields.
Records from the British Raj indicate that Mizoram suffered famine
in 1862 and again in 1911 after the region witnessed similar bamboo
flowerings. The last Mautam, in 1958-59, resulted in the recorded
deaths of at least a hundred people, besides heavy loss to human
property and crops. It led to the foundation of the Mizo National
Famine Front, set up to provide relief to far-flung areas; the front
later became the Mizo National Front, which, under former Chief
Minister Laldenga and current CM Zoramthanga, fought a bitter
separatist struggle for twenty years against the Indian Army.
The 2006 Mautam has led to an explosion in the rat population and
the army has been called to assist embattled civil authorities and,
apart from killing rats, help educate people on pest control and
means of deterrents such as growing turmeric and spices which repel
Agriculture is the mainstay of the people of Mizoram. More than 70%
of the total population is engaged in some form of agriculture. The
age-old practice of Jhum cultivation is carried out annually by a
large number of people living in rural areas. The climatic
conditions of the state, its location in the tropic and temperate
zones, and its various soil types along with well-distributed
rainfall of 1900 mm to 3000 mm spread over eight to ten months in
the year, have all contributed to a wide spectrum of rich and varied
flora and fauna in Mizoram. These natural features and resources
also offer opportunities for growing a variety of horticultural
The agro-climatic conditions of Mizoram are conducive to
agricultural and horticultural crops. As this is the case, a strong
and effective food processing sector should play a significant
supportive role in the economy. The total production of fruits,
vegetables, and spices will be increasing year by year as the number
of farmers are weaned away from Jhum cultivation and are taking up
diversification towards cash crops. Recently, Godrej Agrovet Limited
 has entered for a new venture wherein Oil Palm and Jatropha
cultivation is their main theme in Mizoram.
Mines & minerals
The present main mineral of Mizoram is a hard rock of Tertiary
period formation. This is mainly utilized as building material and
for road construction work. However, several reports (both from
Geological Survey of India and State Geology & Mining Wing of
Industries Department) revealed that the availability of minor
mineral in different places.
Hand looms & handicrafts
Mizo women typically use a hand loom to make clothing and other
handicrafts, such as a type of bag called Pawnpui and blankets. The
Mizo rarely did much craft work until the British first came to
Mizoram in 1889 when a demand for their crafts was created with this
exposure to foreign markets. Currently, the production of hand looms
is also being increased, as the market has been widening within and