President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that empowering farmers and sustaining a productive farming sector is a key policy priority. He made this statement in his address to the public on the occasion of this year’s National Farmers’ Day.
In his written address released Thursday morning, 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, he announced that for the next three years, all land 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.
The President’s address further highlighted that a nation’s sovereignty is unquestionably linked to food security. He expressed full confidence in his administration’s policies regarding the availability of safe food regardless of any conditions that may arise.
Accordingly, he stated that farming equipment no longer incurs import duty; loans and grants for farming had been designated through the SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC); and, training programmes in the field had been increased and diversified through the use of modern technology.
President Solih also noted that one of the main obstacles for Maldivian farmers is logistical constraints of transporting produce to buyers. In this regard, 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.