Although the North Eastern region lies far outside the traditional rubber growing zone, the agro-climatic conditions there, are unique in as much as near tropical features are experienced in most parts owing to low elevations, exposure to monsoons and other moderating influences. Rubber has been reported to be planted early in 1913 and the growth performance has been reported to be good. Encouraged by the positive results obtained from trial plantations undertaken in early 1960s in the then undivided Assam and Tripura, commercial scale plantations were raised by Govt. Forest and Soil Conservation Departments. Public Sector Corporations set up later joined rubber planting endeavours on extensive scales. Thus while in Assam and Tripura, public sector corporations are leading in the rubber plantation sector, their counterparts in Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Anunachal Pradesh are the State Forest and Soil Conservation Departments. Widespread plantings by individual growers are also contributing to fast growth of rubber cultivation in the region.
Considering the excellent potential for rubber production in the region, the Rubber Board has been implementing a project for accelerated expansion of rubber. Development infrastructure composed of Board’s Offices, Regional Research Stations, Nurseries, Nucleus Rubber Estate and Training Centres (NRETCs), District Development Centres (DDCs) and Tappers’ Training Schools (TTSs) of adequate scales is also functioning under the Project.
At the end of 2004-05, extent of rubber cultivation and production in the NE Region was as follow: