The Nicobars, which to borrow R.L Stephenson’s phrase, could be described as `a grove of palms, perpetually rustling green fan.’ Are eminently suited for growing coconut –and an enormous number of coconuts are produced every year.
Andaman, Paddy, maize, oilseeds and sugarcane grow exceedingly well. A variety of vegetables are grown and fruits like, papaya, banana, guava and pineapple thrive. In certain areas citrus fruits grown in abundance
The main wealth islands lies in the luxuriant growth of their forests. A part from many rare species of orchids which grow in profusion, the variety of timber produced in these islands is to be seen be believed. The most important and the most valuable are Padouk and Gurjan.
There is also marblewood most decorate, used for making every kind of ornamental furniture feeling timber and making furniture are the major occupations of the island’s inhabitants. Weaving mats from Pandanus leaves is an important cottage industry. Other cottage industries include leather goods, handspun lather and coir mattresses.
An inexhaustible source of wealth is the abundant marine life in the seas. But it has hardly been exploited. You have everything –tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, pomfret, salmon, prawns, shrimps, silver-bellies, lobsters, crabs oysters and many other varieties of seafood.
The islands can have a very bright future if only their partialities could e realized by the powers that –be. At the moment, there seems to be some sort of an unspecified ban about letting the world-nay, even people in India. Know anything about these islands. No foreigner is allowed to visit them. And even those living on the mainland are not encouraged to go there.
In any case, the facilities provided are so few far between that it is hardly worth anyone’s while to make the trip. One suggestion would be to make these islands a sort of duty-free port and put in on the route of the ocean liners. It could also have its own currency like the Hong Kong dollar and thus given an opportunity of turning itself into a centre of entre port trade. The islands could be made into avertable haven for those who want to escape the din and noise, the hustle and bustle of the crowded cities of our mainland. For, in beauty and natural scenery it would be difficult to find any place in the world to surprise these islands.