Farmers in agricultural island, Thoddoo have begun cultivating maize to prepare for a food shortage situation that may arise in the Maldives due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on behalf of the “COVID-19 Task Force of Thoddoo”, Ahmed Karam at the discretion of Thoddoo Council said the island's farmers have started cultivating maize in their farm lands. He said a large quantities of maize will be available in the country's markets within two months.
“The maize seedlings are planted in the watermelon orchards. Thus, by the time the watermelons are ready for harvesting, maize will be almost ready for harvesting. It has also been planned to cultivate pumpkins and other products as well, taking into consideration the global situation," said Karam.
Karam said about 8000 to 10,000 maize plants will be planted in the orchards.
“The current focus is to widen agricultural farming. This is something that must be done to ensure food security. Thus, the work will be carried out by Thoddoo farmers”, said Karam.
Thoddoo is one of the first islands that took safety measures due to COVID-19. At the initiative of the island’s guesthouse owners’, they halted guesthouse business on the island prior to the governments order to close all tourist facilities on residential islands.
The government have stated they are working to widen agriculture in the Maldives. In that regard, the main trading company of the government, STO has arranged a system for the collection of farmers’ products so that payment can be made to them upfront for their harvest.