Read the full profile
Irrigation and drainage
Evolution of irrigation development
No information is available on irrigation areas (Table 4). There is usually no irrigation because crops are rainfed, but some irrigated areas may exist around tourist resorts for some crops, such as vegetables and for landscaping.
Currently, some agricultural activities in the Maldives may rely on sunken wells and manual watering for crop irrigation. That procedure, while labour intensive, ensures sustainable use of water as a small plot of land, or a number of plots close together, may be adequately served by one or two wells (Zuhair, undated). On some islands, such as Thoddoo Island in the Alifu Atoll, mechanized irrigation systems are used. Pumps are used to draw water from a number of sunken wells through large hoses. Water is applied over the entire soil surface, but most of it will not reach the roots and will be lost through evaporation, making it a crude and wasteful form of irrigation. Localized irrigation aimed directly at the roots would be more feasible. Some new methods are being tested by the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture.