The economy of the North Garo Hills district is basically agrarian and rural based. Agriculture is the mainstay of about 90% of the population of North Garo Hills and most earn their living directly or indirectly from agriculture. Rice is the most important food crop that is grown in the district, both in the plains and the hills. Other food crops that are widely grown in the district are tapioca, yam, maize, millet and pulses. Due to widespread practice of shifting cultivation and deforestation, the production of food crops is decreasing and Government has intervened to provide alternative measures of farming practices like terracing, contour farming etc. to the people.
Horticulture is one of the flourishing sector in the region and much needed attention has been given by the Government to develop this sector. The important fruit crops of the district are oranges, pineapple, litchi, banana, jackfruit and other citrus fruits.
Important plantation crops are arecaunut, cashewnut, coconut, tea, black pepper, bayleaf, betel leaf and rubber. Floriculture is one area which is gaining popularity among the farmers. Species like anthurium, lilium, jerbera, chrysanthemum and exotic ferns as well as orchids grown in the region has a high market demand in the local as well as in the international market. The latest intervention in this area is the introduction of vanilla vines.
But however there are many impending factors which highly affect the region from flourishing in the horticulture sector. The reason being uneven topography and high intensity of rainfall, erosion problem and ecosystem degradation of land and water resources.
The Government is leaving no stone unturned to minimize the drawbacks through initiating variety of measures that would conserve and protect and which would also make the people aware of the destructive effects of their practices.
Commerce & Industry
Although the economy of the state is largely agrarian, agriculture and agro-based industries have not been fully exploited in the district. There is tremendous potential for investment and development in food processing and ample scope for setting up viable large scale fruit processing units in the district. Besides agriculture, a small part of the economy is occupied in small-scale industries such as sericulture & weaving, animal husbandry and dairy farming, carpentry and bamboo works, brick making and others. Other viable industries are carpentry, bee keeping, pottery and black-smithy which have ample scope of flourishing in the region.