Business and Economy in LakshadweepAgriculture remains the mainstay of the Lakshadweep economy. A significant part of the agriculture is devoted to the cultivation of coconuts which contribute a number of products ranging from whole coconut and their by-products. Even the coir, for which these islands have been famous for long comes from the husk of these coconuts. In fact the coconuts' presence is felt in all parts of the lives of the island dwellers. From the housing, roofing, handicrafts to a large variety of uses in their cuisine, the coconut is a major entity.
Some efforts are being made to promote the cultivation of rice for which some of the islands are promoting water logging in the interior reaches to ensure the fruitful propagation of rice production on the islands. There are, however, a number of other vegetation and food crops promoted in the Lakshadweep economy. The other crops being cultivated here are ragi, jowar, sorghum, sweet potatoes and bananas. Other agricultural produce that has sizeable output is the vast variety of medicinal plants. Some of the common ones are dried finari, thaluthama and dondhi besides vinegar. Other by-products of the coconut are the plated coconut leaves, and coconut planks besides cowries bound in coconut fibre. The traditional markets that have been established for these products since ages are Mangalore in Karnataka, as well as Kozhikode and Cannanore in Kerala.
Thus, the coconut and its multiferous by-products are the mainstay of the agricultural economy of the Lakshadweep islands. Fisheries form another major part of the island's economy. It has given a fillip to other allied areas and industries like boat building and canning of fish products which also necessitated the setting up of food processing industrial units. The delectable tuna which is a favourite all over the world in its fresh as well as tinned variety abounds in the waters around these islands and hence is a major contributor to the economy. Several newer innovations have been incorporated into the fisheries industry to support and propagate it. These are the recently introduced tunnel freezer, cold storages besides the ice plants.
Business Opportunities in LakshadweepWhile coconut cultivation is the major business enterprises there are several other business outlets associated with the by-products of coconuts. The versatile and all-season-productive coir industry affords ample business options in production, marketing and sales for the islanders as also the wholesale and retails houses of the traditional markets of Karnataka and Kerala. The islands have seven functioning centres for demonstration and production besides four curling units for coir.
Besides the above industries the fish catching, canning and processing business is very lucrative. Each aspect of the industrial units can be translated into a number of direct and allied areas of work. From packaging to transportation there are a number of businesses that occupy the Lakshadweep islanders.
The boats, their construction as well as repair along with other accessories besides the sale and hire of fishing gear including nets and pails, etc all are important business ends that require knowledge and skills of that level and contribute to this thriving business. Another emerging industry that is still at its tender foot stage is the tourism industry including all forms of hospitality and services.
Investment in LakshadweepThe traditional occupation of the islands being agriculture there is a lot of investment in the coconuts business. The islands have had large investments sunk into their cultivation besides purchase of more and more land holdings to cultivate the coconuts as also other exotic crops like medicinal plants, vanilla, and mushrooms. There is also investment in the preparation of these products for processing, packaging and sale in the thriving markets of India and the world.
Thus, there is tremendous scope of investment in Lakshadweep with the advancement in systems of communication and technological inputs. It is essential to comprehend that there is tremendous potential on these islands for expanding the roles of the islanders themselves in working towards their socio-economic development.
Investments have been put in and are continuously required in the infrastructural inputs, development of transportation and setting up versatile processing units for the speedy, hygienic preparation of the by-products of coconut tuna and even coir.
ICT can bring revolutionary changes to the islands and there is tremendous scope of boosting the economy of the region by setting up information technology hubs in the ideallic situation of the islands.
Investment Opportunities in Lakshadweep IslandWhile ninety nine per cent of the entire population of the Lakshadweep islands remains engrossed in agriculture there is still a large scope for expanding the potential for improving and manufacturing newer products which could be in the form of traditional products being innovated upon and they could also be in the form of services.
As yet not even half the islands have been occupied and yet the islands boast of a booming economy. The scope for investment opportunities is huge especially in the fast evolving tourism industry. Here the people are attuned to the thriving business they would get once their islands open up to commercial tourism. They have a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing, living conditions, ecological wonders and environmental delights. The entire population can get an essential lift once the tourism and hospitality industry comes into its own.
The infrastructural and services development sectors have on offer great investment opportunities. Unlike other groups of islands the Lakshadweep islands are safe havens to get away to the seclusion and peace of a special place that has all the comforts of modern life but without the tortures of sound and environmental pollution as well as the never ending chase of the rat race.