Male’, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Thursday, stated that empowering farmers and sustaining a productive farming sector is a key policy priority, during his address to the nation on the occasion of this year’s National Farmers’ Day, which is themed “Responsible Farming – Food Security”
In his written address, President Solih stated that his “administration continues to accord the highest priority to policy reform and enrich the farming and agriculture sector in the Maldives.” In this regard, it was announced that for the next three years, all lands allocated for farming, including those assigned within the next three years, will be rent-free.
The President further noted that the government had also allocated an additional six uninhabited islands for investments in the sector. However the details of these six islands were not revealed.
The President’s address further highlighted that a nation’s sovereignty is unquestionably linked to food security, while expressing the confidence he has in his administration’s policies regarding the availability of safe food regardless of any conditions that may arise.
Further, the President highlighted the fact that farming equipment no longer incurs import duty and that loans and grants for farming have also been designated through the SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC). It was also added that training programmes in the field have also been increased and diversified through the use of modern technology in the country now.
President Solih also noted that one of the main obstacles for local farmers is the logistical difficulties in transporting the produce of the farms to the buyers, given the geography of the country where islands are scarred far away from each other. How ever, he said that the Agro National Corporation – a 100% government-owned corporation established earlier this year – is mandated to devise an efficient solution to facilitate the sale and transport of fresh produce and connect suppliers and consumers. The President also detailed the efforts of the government concerning foreign aid for farming and agricultural development in the Maldives.
While today, October 15, is celebrated as National Farmers’ Day, October 16 is celebrated internationally as World Food Day. On the occasion, President Solih extended his sincere felicitations and well wishes to the farmers of the country and all hardworking members of the food and agricultural sectors on these two occasions.