Economy of Andaman & Nicobar Islands
The islands of Andaman have immense development potential but the natural resources have not been tapped properly. The development has been insignificant but the population has increased alarmingly. Evergreen rainforests make Andaman a 'gold mine' of timber. Tropical fruits are found on the hilly parts of the islands in abundance while the fishery potential here, offers industrial possibilities.
Agriculture is an important source of income for the rural people. Paddy is the main crop here, while coconut and areca nut are the main cash crops of the Nicobar Islands. Field crops namely pulses, oilseeds and vegetables and spices like pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon are also cultivated. Rubber, red oil, palm and cashew are grown on a limited scale on these islands.
A total of 48,675 hecatres of land is used for agriculture purposes. Paddy, the main food crop, is mostly cultivated in Andaman group of islands, whereas coconut and arecanut are the cash crops of Nicobar group of islands. Field crops, namely, pulses, oilseeds and vegetables are grown, followed by paddy during Rabi season.
Different kinds of fruits such as mango, sapota, orange, banana, papaya, pineapple and root crops are grown on hilly land owned by farmers. Spices, viz., pepper, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon are grown under multi-tier cropping system. Rubber, red oil, palm and cashew are grown on a limited scale in these islands.
There are 1,374 registered small scale, village and handicrafts units. Two units are export oriented in the line of fish processing activity. Apart from this, there are shell and wood based handicraft units. There are also four medium sized industrial units.
SSI units are engaged in the production of polythene bags, PVC conduit pipes and fittings, paints and varnished, fibre glass and mini flour mills, soft drinks and beverages, etc. Small scale and handicraft units are also engaged in shell crafts, bakery products, rice milling, furniture making , etc. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation has spread its wings in the field of tourism, fisheries, industries and industrial financing and functions as authorised agents for Alliance Air/ et Airways.