ANIFPDCL ventures into ''NONI'' cultivation

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Port Blair, May 09 (UNI) Andaman and Nicobar Islands Forest Plantation and Development Corporation Limited (ANIFPDCL), a sick government undertaking firm, has decided to venture into the Noni, cultivation business in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The wonder fruit ''NONI'' (Morinda citrifolia), which is also known as Indian mulberry, is a native plant of India. It is a medicinal plant of high nutritious value.

The climatic conditions of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are considered to be quite suitable for cultivation of this medicinal plant on commercial basis.

To popularise this medicinal plants in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Ministry of Health, Government of India, in collaboration with the National Medicinal Plants Board, New Delhi and CARI Port Blair conducted a launching ceremony of Network Research Project on Morinda Citrifolia, in Port Blair recently.

ANIFPDCL has identified an area of eight hectares as demonstrative plots in Port Blair and in its project areas at Mayabunder and Little Andaman to promote cultivation of 'NONI'' with the help and assistance of CARI.

Mr Nanigopal Das, who is an employee of the Corporation and a successful cultivator of ''Noni'' in Andaman, has been appointed as Nodal Officer of the Corporation for this cultivation in the identified areas, Mr R N Naik, IFS, Managing Director of ANIFPDCL informed media here today.

At a simple ceremony held in the Vanvikas premises, Mr R N Naik, IFS, Managing Director launched the ''Noni'' cultivation by planting the first sapling.

The demonstrative plots, which are being raised by the Corporation will also provide basic information and know-how to the intending cultivators of this medicinal plant in the respective areas, Naik said.

The Govt of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests has already permitted the Corporation to take up medicinal plants cultivation in the leased out forest areas available with the Corporation.

Accordingly, the Corporation proposes to take up 100 hectares of ''Noni'' plantation during 2009-10 in the open and blank areas available in its Oil Palm Plantation in Little Andaman, under this scheme.

UNI SKR KK AK DB2045

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