National Agricultural Innovation Project

The National Agricultural Innovation project (NAIP) titled “Strategies for sustainable management of degraded coastal land and water for enhancing livelihood security of farming communities” is implemented in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The project is operational under CSSRI, Canning town as the consortium leader and CIARI, Port Blair as one of the consortium partner with the following objectives.

  • Sustainable enhancement of the productivity of degraded land and water resources of the coastal region through integrated approaches.
  • Enhancement of livelihood security and employment generation for the poor farming communities of the coastal region.
  • Empowerment through capacity building and skill development of stakeholders including men and women farmers.

The total budget of the subproject is 1091.241 lakhs and for CIARI, Port Blair as consortium Partner is 212.152 lakhs.

In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the project had been implemented in four clusters. The four land clusters were selected primarily as they were suffering with land and water degradation due to proximity to sea or affected due to tsunami. The details are as given below:

State/UT District Blocks/clusters Unique features
Andaman & Nicobar Islands South Andaman Shoalbay Highly backward and disadvantaged area, high rainfall, climatic hazards, lack of irrigation water, extremely humid climate, degraded saline and tsunami affected lands, drainage congestion in low lying areas, low cropping intensity and productivity, very poor adoption of technology poor socioeconomic status, food scarcity, limited livelihood opportunities.
Port Blair
North & Middle Andaman Rangat

Land manipulation options / technologies:

i)Broad Bed and Furrow System

In this System beds of 4 - 5m width and furrows of 5 - 6m width with minimum 1m depth has been made. Raised beds can be used for cultivation of vegetables. Paddy cultivation can be taken in furrows. In addition to paddy and vegetables fish can be integrated in furrows. This system provides the scope for insitu rainwater harvesting and thus enables the scope for second crop cultivation during dry seasons.
ii)Paired BBF

This system is a slight modification of BBF and this is a boon for small land hold farmers. In this System two beds of 4 - 5m width and one furrow of 10m width with minimum 1.5m depth has been made. Raised beds can be used for cultivation of vegetables. Paddy cultivation can be taken in furrow. In addition to paddy and vegetables fish can be integrated in furrow. This system also provides the scope for insitu rainwater harvesting and thus enables the scope for second crop cultivation during dry seasons.
iii)Paddy Cum Fish System
This system involves the dug out of trenches of about 5m width and 1.5m depth around the field. Centre land can be used for paddy cultivation while trenches can be utilized for fish culture. Vegetables/fruits can be grown on the raised bunds of the field. This system also provides the scope for insitu rainwater harvesting and thus enables the scope for second crop cultivation during dry seasons.
iv)Farm pond

Farm pond is constructed to harvest rainwater during rainy seasons. The harvested water can be used during dry season for agricultural activities. Fish along with duck can be integrated in this approach. Addition of poultry shed enhances plankton growth in ponds which ultimately leads to enhanced fish growth as the droppings of the poultry shed serves as a source of organic manure to the pond.
v) Multi-tier system

This System involves the shaping of low lying land into three equal portions as raised land, mid or original land and pond. Pond is in the lower part of the land which can be used for harvesting rain water thus reducing water logging and also for fish culture. Paddy cultivation in mid land along with vegetable cultivation in raised land is possible.

All the above systems performs good in preventing the problem of water logging in low lying areas and restoring agriculture in saline areas by efficient water management. Further there is a gradual improvement in the degraded soil and water quality after intervention.













A) Water logging due to drainage congestion in Tushnabad village of south Andaman during Monsoon 2012.

B) The problem has been resolved through drainage improvement by NAIP.

All the land shaping interventions of NAIP provides the scope for crop diversification integrated with pisciculture. The water harvesting capacity and the bed available for crop diversification is given in the following table.

Water Harvesting Capacity of land shaping Interventions

Interventions Vol. of water harvested (m3) Raised bed area available for crop diversification (m2)
Broad Bed and Furrow system (BBF) (0.2ha) 1119 932
Paired BBF (0.2ha) 600 610
Paddy cum Fish System (0.24ha) 1200 1000
Multi tier System (0.2ha) 1080 1560
Farm Pond (0.2ha) 1000 600

Besides vegetable cultivation on the bed, fruits and fodder crops can be grown on the slopes of raised bed in addition to fish in the furrows. Hence a diversified farm system approach which leads to enhanced farm income for the improvement of livelihood security of farmers is achieved through NAIP.

Salt tolerant high yielding rice varieties

One of the main constraints of rice production in the tsunami affected areas of these Islands is the Salinity. The farmers of these areas were provided with Salt tolerant rice varieties Viz., CSR 36, CSR 23 and CARI Dhan 5 to enhance the rice productivity of their Tsunami affected lands in order to ensure food security. The yield was good for CSR 36 at 4.1tonnes/ha and for CSR 23 at 2.1tonnes/ha

Integrated Farming System

To increase the income of farm families and make possible the availability of improved nutrition particularly those of women and landless labourers NAIP introduced animal sheds along with improved breeds of livestock animals and poultry birds to encourage Integrated farming system. The integration of agriculture, livestock, poultry, fishery, horticultural crops, agro forestry in addition to effective recycling of wastes to ensure better environmental quality was achieved through Integrated farming System.

Fish culture

The land manipulation techniques of NAIP confers maximum scope for fish culture as it is a potential source for enhancing land use, farm productivity and employment generation. Capacity building training programmes were also given to farmers on seed production of Indian Major Carps (IMC) and the significance of satellite nurseries were also emphasised to farmers to meet the local demand for fish seeds in a self sustained manner among farmers.

Farm inputs to strengthen the production system

Farm inputs such as PVC pipes for to drain out excess water from the system during rainy season and improved varities of crops including horticultural crops, fish seeds for encouraging crop diversification and round the year crop rotation were provided to farmers to develop the sustainability of their production system.

Capacity building

Farmers were trained for capacity building and awareness raising on the relevant aspects through specialized trainings. Further the farmers are also encouraged to form self help groups and they are depositing sustainable fund @10% towards the total cost of whatever inputs given by NAIP to address post project sustainability.

The farmers of the selected clusters are provided with NAIP Interventions in order to improve their livelihood. The cluster wise details of beneficiaries is depicted in the following table.

Total number of beneficiaries under all interventions of NAIP at all the clusters

District Cluster No. of Farmers Sub Total
Land Shaping Interventions Salt tolerant paddy Varities Improved seed varities Fishlings Drip irrigation System Integrated Farming System
South Andaman Chouldhari 49 31 0 11 04 04 99
Shoal Bay 23 24 19 07 04 09 86
North & Middle Andaman Rangat 46 46 30 06 04 04 136
Diglipur 87 44 11 28 04 11 185
Total 205 145 60 52 16 28 506

Although the weather was inclement every year in Andaman the implementation of project activities are carried out in full fledge to complete our target on time. The graphical representation of year wise progress in the implementation of land shaping interventions is given below.

Success Stories

Shri. Sudhir Dutta, Chouldhari, S.Andaman
Shri. Sudhir Dutta has only 1000 m2 of low lying land next to sea in lalpahad village of Chouldhari cluster, South Andaman. Before Tsunami he used to cultivate only traditional rice varieties followed by cucurbits and maintained 100 nos of poultry birds in his land. The 2004 Tsunami has totally wiped out his resources leaving only the barren land (plate 1). The farmer went for fishing and poultry rearing for his livelihood. Under NAIP, a BBF with two beds each of 5m width and 47m long and one broad furrow of 10m width and 47m long was made in his land. About 600m3 of rain water is harvested in the furrow which can provide irrigation during dry months apart from enabling fish culture. He was also provided with the fingerlings of Indian Major Carps after training on land management and carp breeding. Apart from this he restored his poultry farming with his own resources. He used poultry manures as a basal dose, tilled the bed with only hand hoe and started growing vegetables like bhendi, bottleguard, bitterguard, greenchillies and amaranthus as short duration intercrop (plate 3 & 4). Most innovatively he used the nearby water logged area by placing bamboo sticks and proving pandal for cucurbits. The cropping intensity has increased to 250% his farm activity has diversified. He has earned net return of about 15,000 and expects nearly 40,000/- by the next summer en from vegetables alone. Many farmers from nearby villages started visiting his farm which gives him a great pride and motivation. He will be harvesting fish from the furrow which can fetch him a net return of about Rs.35,000/- in the next summer.

Degraded land before intervention (plate 1)

Making of BBF (plate 2)










Vegetable cultivation on BBF and fish culture in the furrows (plate 3 & 4)

Plate 3

Plate 4










Shri. Tapan Mondal (Contract farmer)
Shri Sudhano mistry was a traditional farmer of the Tsunami affected lalpahad village of Chouldhari cluster, South Andaman. His land was badly affected by Tsunami and it does not provide him sufficient income and thus he gave the land on lease to a land less farmer Shri.Tapan Mondal on lease (plate 5). Effort was made to bring them together to share the benefits in this regard Shri. Tapan Mondal was flexible in accommodating the owners interest and has shown great interest to cultivate the land. Awareness was created about technological options to bring the land under cultivation through capacity building programme. NAIP introduced a BBF in 1600 m2 of the tsunami affected land (plate 6). Shri. Tapan mondal made efforts to leach out the salt from the beds using the summer rains and tilled the land with hired power tiller. He planted brinjal and chilli in the beds in a time lag of 5 days in three patches with the border crop of leafy vegetables so as to get continuous supply. So far he has harvested 500 kg of brinjal and expected to harvest about 2,500 kg more in the current season in every 10 – 15 days interval. As the prices are very high during rainy season he is expected to earn about Rs. 65,000/- in the next two months (plate 7&8). He is determined to grow three vegetables in a year on the beds and now he is very confident to enter into contract with nearby farmers to bring the barren land under cultivation of his own. Additionally he is trained on fish culture and provided with fingerlings of IMC to grow in the furrows. The original farmer is also happy that crop production has been restored in his land with good share and assured the contract farmer of atleast 5 years of tenure.


Degraded land before intervention (plate 5)
Making of BBF in the degraded land (plate 6)









Vegetable cultivation on BBF (plates 7 & 8)

Plate 7

Plate 8










Anjali Sardar (Dashrathpur Village, Rangat)
The coastal areas of Andmans suffers from the salinity, water logging and sea water inundation making life and livelihood difficult as in the case of Dashrathpur village, Rangat block, Middle Andaman. After tsunami the constrains for agricultural acivities have multiplied and farmers were left with limited choice and hard labour. This is more worst for Smt. Anjali Sardar w/o Shri.Umesh Sardar of Dashrathpur village. She was left without help as the 2004 Tsunami has wiped out her limited resources and the land become saline and water logged. She survived by rearing goats and putting hard labour in other field. She has been lend a hand by National Agricltural Innovation Project under which a broad bed and furrow system was made in her field in 2011 to help her to begin a new life. After making the system under the supervision of scientific team from NRM/CIARI, Port Blair it was left for one full monsoon season to leach out the salts and other toxic elemens present in the soil profile. In the mean time she started growing leafy vegetables on the slopes of the bed which prevents soil erosion thereby stabilises the system. In the same year, she started cultivating vegetables like bhendi, bottleguard, bitterguard, green chillies and amaranthus as short duration intercrop by following scientific practices. The cropping intensity increases by 250% and the farming activity was diversified. Apart from this she started fish culture after being given training and fingerlings under NAIP. By then she has grown in confidence and also integrated ducks and pigs in her farm. The hard labour and dedication paid her with an income of Rs. 20000 from vegetables alone and another Rs.16000 from fish last year. This year she is eagerly waiting for the vegetable season as she is confident of her profession and got the vegetable seeds distributed through NAIP. The key to her success is her dedication, eagerness to be aware of the scientific practices, will to grow coupled with the technological support from NAIP/CIARI.

Visit of CIARI team of scientists after making of BBF
Vegetable cultivation started in BBF










Team of scientists checking the Soil and water profile for fish Culture

Glimpses of NAIP

Land Shaping Interventions

Degraded land before Intervention                         Vegetable Cultivation on BBF                             Fish harvest on BBF Inner Photo: weighing of harvested fish
Degraded land before Intervention                     Degraded land after making of Paired BBF                  Vegetable Cultivation on Paired BBF
Degraded land before Intervention             Degraded land after making of Paddy cum Fish system                Vegetable Cultivation on Paddy cum Fish
A View of surrounding area without Intervention                             Harvested rainwater in the pond of Three tier System                                              Vegetable cultivation in the bed of Three tier System

Contributions to sustainable rural livelihood security


Distribution of salt tolerant paddy seeds           Paddy cultivation in progress at farmers                  Paddy cultivation in progress at farmers
Distribution of Plantation Seedlings to farmers                                      Distribution of Plantation Seedlings to farmers                                      Distribution of Plantation Seedlings to farmers
Distribution of Fish seeds to farmers                    Distribution of Fish seeds to farmers                                            Fish Culture in progress at farmers field

Capacity Building




Scientist farmer interaction during training programme at diglipur           Scientist farmer interaction during training programme at diglipur in the presence of DDG, NRM.                  Paddy cultivation in progress at farmers

Hands on training to farmers on carp seed production                        Hands on training to farmers induced breeding of carps            Hands on training to farmers on induced breeding of carps
Visit of farmers to the progressive farmers field                    Demonstration of packaging technique of fish seeds to farmers                                            Capacity building programme to farmers at progressive farmers field

Livestock Distribution



CAC team Visit



Drip irrigation

Distribution of drip irrigation machineries to farmers                 Distribution of drip irrigation machineries to farmers         Installation of drip irrigation system in progress at farmers field
Distribution of drip irrigation machineries to farmers                         Drip irrigation installed at farmers field                               Drip irrigation installed at farmers field