Evolution and early History
The Union Territory of Lakshadweep comprises of 27 islands of which 10 are inhabited and other uninhabited. As per the Census 2001 population of the territory is 60,595. The area of the territory is 32 Sq.Kms.
The Cooperative movement was introduced in Lakshadweep during the year 1962. Under the Five Year Plans this movement has covered almost all fields of economic activity. The movement could really make rapid strides not only in marketing of Agricultural Produce (Copra) but also in the distribution of consumer goods and providing of cheap credit to the people. The Lakshadweep Cooperative Marketing Federation and ten primary cooperative Supply & Marketing Societies have become the very back bone of island economy as far as marketing of Agricultural Produce (Copra) and distribution of essential commodities are concerned. The nine Service Cooperative Societies have established a name for themselves in meeting the short term and medium term credit requirements of the people. The six Govt. Employees Cooperative Stores and Canteens in the islands are designed to meet the special requirements of its members who are Govt. Servants. The five Labor Contract Cooperative Societies, six Fishermen Cooperative Societies and fifteen Industrial type of Cooperative Societies and two students co-operative societies in the islands have not made much impact on the life of the people. There are about 55 different types of Cooperative Societies in Lakshadweep at present.