MDP manifesto: Separate ministries for fisheries and agriculture

The main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s manifesto for the upcoming presidential election has proposed establishing a system that links local farmers with the domestic market, resorts, and international markets.

The “Great Economic Transformation” policy in the manifesto states that an export-oriented value chain will be established to increase the profitability of agricultural products and connect local farmers to the domestic market, resorts, and international markets.

It is also proposed to establish separate ministries for the agriculture and fisheries sectors and shape government policies and projects to suit the industries. It also proposes to compile a detailed register of farmers, calculate their produce, and pay bonuses to farmers who participate in import exchange.

The manifesto further suggested introducing microfinancing schemes for small-scale farmers and prioritizing providing land for farmers. The manifesto also proposed working with island councils to find markets for the products of those working in the agricultural sector in the atolls, especially women farmers working at home.

The manifesto further suggests developing dedicated farming islands with the necessary resources through Agronet, and ensuring that farmers can farm in these islands and get their profits with certainty.

The manifesto also committed to providing technical and financial assistance to landless atoll islands to adopt innovative technologies and expand agriculture, such as vertical and high-density farming, to ensure sustainable year-round access to vegetables and fruits. The manifesto also includes plans to create a program "agripreneurs" to introduce a younger generation to the agricultural sector.

In order to increase the productivity and profitability of domestic farmers and reduce dependence on imports from abroad, the import duty on items designated for import substitution will be increased according to the increase in productivity. The manifesto also proposes to introduce a national farm insurance scheme to provide protection to farmers against climate change-related damage to their farming land.