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A sensitization programme on ‘Woody pepper as a potential crop for the Islands’ was conducted for the farmers of Lal Pahad area of South Andaman under DBT, New Delhi funded project on Woody Pepper on February 18, 2022. Dr. Ajit Arun Waman, Scientist, ICAR-CIARI and Organizer of the programme, explained the participants about importance of local flora in livelihood and nutritional security of island dwellers. He also emphasized on promoting local species for diversifying island agriculture apart from supporting tourism sector of the islands. Woody pepper is one such local species having considerable potential for commercialization in the islands. In order to popularize the species, various aspects of woody pepper cultivation were explained to the farmers during the programme.

Novel method of propagation of this spice developed at ICAR-CIARI was explained to them in order to enable them to take up its multiplication in their own farms. Dr. Waman educated the farmers about criteria for selection of site and growing standards suitable for woody pepper. Systematic planting scheme was also explained to the participants, which could help the farmers in getting income in phases from this perennial crop. Marketing strategies for promotion of woody pepper in the local as well as national markets were explained to the farmers. Field visits were also made to guide the farmers for taking up woody pepper cultivation. To give impetus for promoting this novel spice, planting material of woody pepper was distributed to seventeen farmers in the area.

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