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Maldives to launch new agriculture, fishing ventures to slash import

Fathmath Shaahunaz
06 February 2017, MVT 15:02
President Yameen (L) greets Parliament Majority Leader Ahmed Nihan outside Dharubaaruge prior to his Presidential Address to open the first sitting of 2017's parliament sessions. PHOTO/PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
Fathmath Shaahunaz
06 February 2017, MVT 15:02

The Maldives will launch five agricultural ventures this year in a move to cut down importation, announced President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom early Monday.

The president made the announcement during his Presidential Address to open the first sitting of this year’s parliament sessions. However, he did not provide further details on the government’s plans.

The statistics released by Maldives Customs Service on Monday show that the amount of import goods had increased last year with MVR 34 billion, which is a 12 percent spike from the MVR 31 billion worth of goods imported in 2015. According to the statistics, the second highest expenditure in 2016 was for the importation of food products at MVR 6.4 billion, which accounts for 19 percent of total import.

New investments in fisheries industry

President Yameen also announced that the government will launch the production of fishmeal for the mariculture industry in three regions of the Maldives this year. Other ventures include cultivation of fishing bait and establishment of a facility to store frozen fish in Addu atoll.

However, the president again did not disclose further details regarding these plans.

Meanwhile, the government had announced last year that Saudi Arabia will invest in the development of tuna micro-canneries in four islands of the Maldives. While fishing had been in a slump for much of 2016, it has picked up again this year, especially in the south of the archipelago.

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