Agricultural Activities in Lakshadweep
Agriculture is an important activity of the islanders that gives them economic support, next to Tuna fishing. The main crop is coconut. Laccadive ordinary, Laccadive small and Lacadive micro are the major varieties.
The production of coconut had reached 283 million nuts during 2000-2001 as against 16.3 million during 1966-67 period.
The higher production could be achieved by elimination of low productive palms and maintaining the optimum spacing between trees. Towards this, approximately 2000 trees of poor yield were cut and removed, paying Rs.400.00 as compensation to the agriculturists. Such assistance is provided to support the coconut nursery growers and coconut producers.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLE CULTIVATION:
A deep thrust is also given to increase vegetables cultivation in Lakshadweep. Efforts are also made, with the support of governmental bodies, for the cultivation of Banana, Pappaya and sapota. This is aimed at reducing the import of fruit items from nearby States. Nearly 70 hectors of land were brought under fruit cultivation. The department was able to instill confidence among the farmers. Fruits and vegetables are also cultivated in the coconut gardens, in areas available between the coconut palms. Apart from ensuring local availability of the fruits and vegetables, such activities also helped improved the employment avenues, the economy and living styles of the agricultural employees in the islands.
MEASURES FOR SOIL IMPROVEMENTS
The soils in the islands are very poor in Nitrogen, Potash and macro nutrients. Governmental measures are very much live for organic dressing, fertility improvement steps through bio fertilizers, green manures, and organic manures. Thus the ecology and environment of the islands are kept preserved. Self help groups from all the islands came forward to take up pith plus composting self employment.
Apart from the above supports from the Government, separate divisions have also been formulated in the Lakshadweep under proper planning and guidance for "Floriculture & Orchid Development, Agricultural Marketing and Processing, Agricultural Engineering Service, Soil and Water Conservation, Disaster Management and Social and Agro Forestry".
The active involvement and support of the various agricultural operations under the overall guidance of the Government are expected to bring the improvements envisaged in the islands within the estimated time schedules. Such improvements will surely reflect up on the economy and life styles of the islanders.