isolated group of small islands, 36 in number, of which only
10 are inhabited. They are Minicoy, Andrott, Kavaratti,
Kadmat, Agatti, Amini, Kalpeni, Kiltan, Chetlat and Bitra.
The uninhabited islands consists Bangaram, Tinnakara and
Suheli. Kalpity, Parali 1 & 2.
The inter island distance varies from about 10 to 200
kilometers. Though the land area of this Coral paradise is
only 32 square kilometers the inclusion of about 4200 square
kilometers of its lagoon area 20,000 square kilometers of
its territorial waters and almost 4,00,000 square
Exclusive Economic Zone makes it one of the largest
territories of the country. The
lagoons and the economic zone teeming with marine life and
mineral resources enhance the economic importance of
Lakshadweep. Because of the economic and social backwardness
and the remoteness of these islands from the mainland, the
entire indigenous population is classified as Scheduled
The character of these islands has decided the main
occupations of the people, which are Coconut farming and
Fishing. The pristine beauty of the white beaches and the
clear lagoons as well as the colorful underwater life has a
great potential for a thriving tourism industry.
The annual production of Coconut is around 53 million nuts.
These are converted into copra and marketed in the mainland.
Efforts have also to be made to improve productivity of
coconuts by introducing scientific farming methods. Value
addition to other coconut-based products like coir, coir
fibre, desiccated coconut powder units can be achieved by
modernization of these units.
Establishing more co-operative industrial societies,
organizing entrepreneurship development training programmes
and promotion of self-employment programmes can ensure
people's participation. All these have been the thrust areas
in the 10th Five Year Plan (2002-2007), approved by National