The government has entered into an agreement with the government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to develop sustainable agriculture in the Maldives. The Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture and the Ministry of Economic Development signed on behalf of the Maldivian government.
The signing ceremony was held at the Samann Host in Hulhumaale; the Economic Ministry was represented by Minister Fayyaz Ismail, and the Fisheries Ministry was represented by Minister Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan. The agreement was also signed by the Japanese ambassador to the Maldives, Keiko Yanai, and the UNDP's resident representative Enrico Gaveglia.
Speaking at the event, Minister Dr Rasheed said that as part of this agreement, vessels which currently have refrigeration capabilities would be upgraded to enable them to carry local produce as cargo.
He mentioned that development of a soil-testing laboratory at the Hanimaadhoo Agrictulre Research Centre would also be carried out as part of this agreement. He said that the agreement would be helpful towards the effort to ensure food security for the Maldives.
Ambassador Yanai said that if the programme would provide, if successfully implemented, a great boost for Maldivian agriculture.
This agreement is the second phase of the SEEDS project run jointly by the Japanese government and the UNDP to help the Maldives "kick-start the economy after the COVID-19 crisis".