In Andaman and Nicobar Islands the total available land for Agriculture is limited to 50,000 ha. i.e. 6% of the total geographical area only. No further land is being released because of the prevailing ecological conditions. Due to rapid urbanization and growth of population in these Islands, arable land is shrinking while pressure on enhancing productivity is enormous. A strategy has been adopted to keep a balance among the various use of lands to increase production and productivity in a sustainable manner and efforts are being made to produce more per unit area by adopting multiple and intensive cropping system following the scientific management practices with utmost care of conserving soil and water. Further efforts are underway to utilize the vacant hilly land by promoting plantation, fruits and spices crops, which grow naturally well, out here.            

Out of the total 50000 ha. Land available for agriculture purpose, 12000 ha. are flat land. Paddy is the main field crop of these Islands during Kharif season. Cultivation of paddy is spread over 8-10 Islands where settlement have been established. Paddy cultivation in Kharif is followed by cultivation of a second crop of paddy, oilseeds and pulses. Though the Islands fall under humid tropics with more than 3180 mm of rainfall annually, field crops like pulses, oilseeds have limited scope in these Islands owing to uncertain weather conditions. 

         Most of the farmers in these Islands have been allotted with 2 ha. of hilly land and 2 ha. of paddy land. The hilly lands are utilized for cultivation of plantation and horticulture crops like coconut, arecanut, fruits like mango, Pineapple, Guava, jackfruit, sapota, citrus fruits and spices crops in these Islands. In addition red oil palm, rubber, cashew nut are also cultivated Fruits like mango, Banana citrus, Pineapple, guava and sapota are grown in hilly land in a scattered way and no pure fruit orchard is available. Since the climatic condition of these Islands is quite congenial for development of fruits, the Department is encouraging the farmers to take up fruit cultivation both under UT plan schemes as well as Centrally Sponsored Schemes. In addition to the horticulture crops, vegetables also cover as a major crop in these Islands in about 3900 ha every year, vegetables are cultivated in Kharif season in the limited area of Neil Island, Havelock, Maccapahar and little Andaman where the soils are mostly porous, well drained and suitable for vegetable cultivation. Generally indigenous vegetables like bhindi, lobia, brinjal, cucurbits, marsa, poi, radish etc. are cultivated in Kharif season. Cultivation of vegetable is taken up through out the Islands in the Rabi season in the fallow land available after harvest of paddy. Some varieties of exotic vegetables like cauliflower, knolkhol, tomato, capsicum etc are also cultivated during Rabi season taking advantage of short spell of winter season. The major chunk falls in Diglipur, Rangat and Little Andaman. Though vegetables are cultivated in summer season (Rabi) their cultivation is confined to selected areas only where there are facilities for irrigation either from sunken well, ponds and in certain places from perennial nallahs.

         The development of agriculture depends fully upon adopting of improved and latest technology in the field of farmers. Emphasis has been laid in intensifying in-service training programme for the technical personnel of Agriculture Research Institute; Port Blair and also arranging training programme by utilizing the expertise from mainland. Such training programme are repeated to enable the departmental technical hands to acquaint with the latest available technology in agriculture fields and to make them resourceful to transfer such latest technology to the farmers of these Islands. Suitable programme have also been chalked out to conduct fortnightly monthly training to the farmers.

         In addition, farmers are selected and deputed to study tour on mainland to acquaint themselves with the latest methodology adopted by the farmers of different parts of India Churcha  mondals are also held from time to time to get feed back from the farmers.

High Value Agriculture in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

            During the year the Island Development Authority meeting held on 19-02/2003, at Port Blair, the Hon’ble Prime Minister announced that standing committee of Secretaries would be given the task of recommending strategy for development of tourism, fisheries, high value agriculture and harnessing hydrocarbon energy resources for the development of the Island. Accordingly five major high value crops as coconut, spices, fruits, floriculture and Medicinal Plants and a draft project for development of high value agriculture have been prepared and submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture.

 Development & Promotion of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

            The agro-climatic condition of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is very much congenial for the cultivation of Medicinal Plants. More than 300 Medicinal/ Aromatics Plants are indigenous to these Islands. The Department of Agriculture is looking forward to exploit the commercial cultivation of Medicinal Plants in these Islands, for which a Medicinal Plant Board has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Lt. Governor. The main objective of this board is of policy formulation, coordination, and ensuring sustainable availability in the Medicinal Plants sector of the UT. This Medicinal Plants Board has been registered as Andaman and Nicobar Medicinal Plants Board (Society) under registration No. 1113 dated 02/01 1003. SCRD Farm Sippighat have been setup as Model MADP farm. Indocert cochin has been requested for organic certification of SCRD Farm. Action has been initiated and gathered information for creating producing companies by consulting with Shri. Subhash Mehta, Consultant MADP, FAO and Natural Synergies, Chennai. The SCRD Farm, Sippighat and Progeny Farm, Jirkatang has been identified for the cultivation of stevia and vanilla in 1 ha. land. To know the technical know how about processing of jatropha seeds, Industries Department, Andaman and Nicobar Administration, NRDC, New Delhi and other institutions like APMAC, Bangalore, FRLHT, Banglore, natural Remedies, Bangalore, UAS Bangalore, IIHR, Bangalore, Sami Medicinal & Extracts Ltd., Bangalore Dr. Rajendran, KMPA, Bangalore, Commissioner Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, Bhopal and PAU, Ludiyana were requested.

Organic Farming

            The high amount of use of chemicals may result in deterioration in productivity potential by killing the micro-organism, pollution of ground water and increasing levels of green house gases. With increasing health consciousness and concern for environment, organic farming system has been drawing attention all over the world.

            The Department of Agriculture is promoting integrated use of fertilizers with special efforts on promoting organic farming in the islands. Vermi-culture is one of the components in organic farming. The department is promoting Vermi-culture by establishing result demonstration units in the departmental farms of various Islands.          

            The department has setup a vermin-compost unit at Horticulture Station, Haddo with technical collaboration of Punjab Science & Technology Council. The earth work from mainland were introduced to this vermi- compost unit. The worms were multiplied and distributed to Diglipur, Mayabunder, Rangat & Hutbay for further multiplication in the departmental vermicompost unit.

Mobile Soil Testing Van

             To under take soil test and crop response programme a Mobile Soil Testing Van has been purchased with all infrastructure for door to door service and the van is now in operation. Under Island condition, Mobile Laboratory is more relevant as it can be shifted from Island to Island by ship/vbehicle ferry and services can be extended to the farmers of isolated Islands.

 Minor Irrigation

            For Judicious, utilization of available water resources, the department installed Micro Irrigation (Drip & Sprinkler) system in the departmental farms for demonstration purpose. For increasing irrigation potential in Andaman and Nicobar Islands the department through Minor Irrigation scheme ponds, check dam and pumpset are provided to farmers on loan-cum-subsidy basis.


            Bee keeping helps in pollination of crops, there by increasing the production and productivity of crops. Side by side increases in honey and natural wax production by rearing it. During the year 20 Nos. of bee hives alongwith accessories were supplied to the farmers at 50% cost subsidy. Bee hives supplied earlier were also been maintained.

 Bio Control Efforts

            In the departmental bio control laboratory, multiplication of parasitoedes is a continuous process. Three species of egg parasite i.e. Trichogramma Chilonis, Trichogramma japonicum, Trichogramma brasillingis in the tunes of 2.00 millions were released in the field against Lepideptorian Pests of paddy.

 Integrated Pest Management Demonstration

            Indiscriminate use of pesticide results environmental pollution, pest resurgence and harmful effect of pesticide residue. To counter this department conducts IPM demonstration on paddy and vegetables every year in collaboration with CIPMC, Port Blair.

            Four Nos. of IPM demonstration on paddy in four zone, South Andaman, Rangat, Mayabunder and Diglipur ahave been started. Each demonstration covers 40 ha. of land with 30 beneficiaries.

 Promotion of Floriculture

            The agro climatic condition of these Islands is very much favourable for cultivation of tropical orchids such as dendrobium, mocaras etc. In this line the department has initiated steps for the establishment of model orchidarium at SCRD Farm, Sippighat in an area of 0.25 ha. The proposed orchidarium will serve as model farm for the interested entrepreneur and will also provide planting material.