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Support to Administration's Campaign on 'Planting more fruit plants for Food Security'

Port Blair ,

       A training-cum-demonstration primarily focusing on the Andaman and Nicobar Administration's Campaign on 'Planting more Fruit Plants for Food & Nutrition Security', wherein a very large quantity of planting materials are to be produced and planted in the vacant land was organized for the field functionaries of Agriculture Department in the Conference Hall of Zonal Agriculture Office South Andaman yesterday. Ms Vedita Reddy, Secretary (Agri) was the chief guest of the programme while the Director of Agriculture was the guest of honour. Producing large quantity of planting materials potting mixture has also to be arranged in large quantity for this initiative.  
    Coir pith is an integral part of potting mixture and coir pith bricks are expensive and not easily available locally, in this regard, the Agriculture Department demonstrated an easy method to produce coir pith manually, which can be prepared easily in every household. Coco pith /peat are the best alternative to mined peat moss. Coco coir is a proven natural alternative to mined peat moss, therefore, using it helps slow down peat extraction from environmentally sensitive swamps worldwide. Used as a growing medium/potting medium coco peat out performs most of the popular brands of peat and sphagnum peat.
     The Officials of SM Farm, Bloomsdale prepared some basic tools to extract coir pith from coconut husk and they demonstrated the extraction of coir pith in the presence of the Secretary (Agri), Director of Agriculture and field functionaries of the Department. Prior to the demonstration, Shri B. R. Ajay, AFA elaborated on preparation of the tool, important characteristics of coir pith and extraction method theoretically.
   The Secretary (Agri) lauded the efforts of Agriculture Department for initiating various activities for production of large quantity of planting materials for fruit bearing plants, so that the Administration's campaign achieve its success. The Secretary also appealed to all the staff of the Department to raise and plant as many fruit plants of any kind in the vacant lands available in Govt. public places, Schools, Anganwadis etc. where the monitoring can be done by the establishments itself once the planting is over.
    The Secretary(Agri) also urged the staff to develop new innovative techniques and motivate the farmers to shift from monoculture to multiple cropping to Integrated Farming also by adding subsidiary enterprises so that the per hectare  income  of the farmers can be increased. She also urged them to make every effort to see the progress and added income of the farmer and ensuring improvement in the quality of life of the farmer. She stressed on the need to propagate maximum number of planting materials of minor fruits like passion fruit which thrives well in the Islands and have good economic value, a press release from Agriculture Deptt. said.