Sunday 21st Apr 2024
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Agriculture

Maldives Signs MoU with Chinese Company to Establish Agricultural Economic Zone

The Maldives Industrial Development Free Zone (MID) and China Harbor Engineering Company have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a dedicated Agricultural Economic Zone (AEZ) to ensure food security in Maldives.
STO Managing Director Shimad Ibrahim signed the agreement on behalf of Maldives, while China Harbor Engineering Country Manager Mao Bao signed on behalf of the company.
The MoU will be a major step forward in Maldives’ efforts to increase food security, diversify the economy, and reduce dependence on imported food.
"Maldives faces major challenges in ensuring food security, one of the main reasons being the country's dependence on imported food. About 90% of the food consumed in Maldives is imported," the MID said in a statement.
While noting that the country’s geography and scarcity of suitable land for cultivation is the biggest challenge for agricultural development, the company noted that governments’ efforts to promote agriculture have not yielded adequate results.
The Agriculture Economic Zone to be built under the agreement will provide support and infrastructure to increase agricultural production, and such AEZs are a key business in countries seeking to increase export earnings while ensuring food security with the help of advanced agricultural technology.
The project is scheduled to start in 2024 by dredging land from an area designated by the government. Under the agreement, it will establish dredging, development of primary infrastructure, development of agricultural industrial parks, establishment of passenger and freight terminals, as well as other related enterprises.
The development of the agricultural industry to ensure food security is a presidential promise of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.