The Andaman & Nicobar group of Islands in Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep Islands in Arabian Sea is well known for its unique biodiversity and unexplored flora and fauna which have created interest at National and International level. The Islands have about 50000 ha under all the agricultural crops with major area of over 20000 ha under coconut. The territory has a major coast line highlighting the importance of fisheries and typical coastal climate. The diverse flora and fauna having horticultural importance, unique breeds of domestic animals sustaining the livelihood of tribal population, diverse settler communities & tribal population with typical food habits, posing challenges to sustain the fragile production systems makes this as topic of interest among the researchers. The horticulturally based integrated farming system of the Islands has enormous potential for providing livelihood options and can play a significant role in supporting agro-tourism based economy.
During the last forty years of its vibrant existence, the Institute has contributed significantly to reduce the gap between demand and supply through research and extension entrepreneurship development programmes, skill development programmes etc. First private spawn production unit (M/s. Mahalasa Pvt. Ltd) with women entrepreneur has started under the technical guidance of the Institute at South Andaman.
Institute has made significant accomplishments which includes development of crop varieties, identification and characterisation of livestock and poultry breeds, standardization of various fish species, Identification of important species of mangrove Pemphis acidula Forst, new reports about four sponges species, three new species of fruit fly, a rodent Bandicota bengalensis and two new fish species as new records from Andaman Islands are important achievements of the institute.
Custodian farmers and communities of biodiversity conservation and utilization in Andaman & Nicobar Islands were identified for Andaman Coconut, Nicobari Aloo, Khoon Phal, Blue mango, Noni, Khushbayya rice, Black Burma, Mushley, Nyawin, White Burma, Nicobari fowl, Nicobari pig and Teressa goat are recognized for the first time.
The Institute facilitated for Plant Genome Saviour Community Award to Karen community for conservation of unique landraces of rice, Nicobari Aloo (Dioscorea alata) by PPV & FRA, New Delhi, breed conservation award for conservation of Nicobari Pig and Nicobari Fowl to Tribal Council, Car Nicobar. A ICAR-CIARI was recognised by ICAR-NBAGR, Karnal for biodiversity conservation .The Institute has developed linkages with several ICAR Institutes, SAUs, line departments, commodity boards like West Bengal University of Agriculture & Fisheries Science, Kolkata, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswa Vidyalaya, Nadia, Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa Fisheries University, Chennai and Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology, Bhubaneshwar and undertaking collaborative research/ projects including AICPRs on several crops and animals.
The Institute has developed number of production technologies for several horticultural crops, important flower and ornamental crops viz Spider Orchid cultivation round the year, identified suitable varieties of vegetables and fruits through evaluation, standardized methods for organic farming, for Island conditions.
The Institute envisions to carry forward the Research and Development activities in Horticulture, Field crops, plant health management, Fisheries, Animal husbandry, Natural Resource Management, social sciences and to undertake dissemination of appropriate technologies to the stakeholders through KVKs, line departments for increase in production, productivity and improvement in livelihood through High Density Multi- species Cropping System, Integrated farming system, Broad Bed and Furrow system, Homestead based Integrated farming system for the tribal's, protected cultivation, seed village to provide truthfully labelled seeds etc for the betterment of Island Agriculture.