Southeast Asia is a centre of diversity of a number of tropical fruits, Indian sub continent comprising vast semi-arid and arid areas have enormous diversity of underutilized fruit species. A number of multipurpose tree species commonly grow as populations unattended in these inhospitable and stressed environments and also in the agricultural fields as isolated trees or in small groups. In most of the species no organized orcharding, nutritional management and plant protection practices are followed. These species have outstanding adaptation capabilities to drought tolerance, salt tolerance and are also resistant to major pest and diseases. Continued overexploitation of these species from natural habitats, increasing demand for land for agriculture and industry and least attention for this natural wealth has resulted in extensive degradation of their habitats.
North East India, the centre of origin for many wild and cultivated fruit tree species, most of which are not commercially cultivated but provides significant source of livelihood support for many rural communities. Due to unsustainable market pressures and rapid urbanization, majority of these species have come to near extinction. A holistic approach is hence proposed which includes both in-situ and ex-situ conservation strategies, as well as re-governance of the market chain. Reinforcement of their domestication through standardization of cultivation practices, facilitation for supply of planting material and increasing the demands for the produce by exploring their uses, creation of awareness among consumers and establishing a good distribution network are also crucial for attaining sustainability.