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MIDFZ's Uthuru Thilafalhu project has potential to ensure food security for entire country

State Trading Organization (STO) Managing Director Shimad Ibrahim, who also leads MIDFZ, has stated that the project headed by STO at Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF) will be commenced soon with the goal of ensuring food security for the entire country.

Hanaan Hussain
16 April 2024, MVT 14:05
Uthuru Thila Falhu / UTF / MNDF
Hanaan Hussain
16 April 2024, MVT 14:05

Speaking in an exclusive interview with 'Mihaaru," State Trading Organization Managing Director and head of Maldives Industrial Development Free Zone (MIDFZ) Shimad Ibrahim stated that the initiative to reclaim 200 hectares of land from UTF with China Harbor was commenced to facilitate the production of all food items needed to make Maldives food secure. He added that the country would begin cultivating all varieties of food produce required by Maldives independently in the upcoming year.

"We are currently evaluating the feasibility of the project and working on its financing, among other requirements. We hope to be able to harvest fruits and vegetables on land reclaimed in UTF by the end of next year," Shimad said.

He also revealed that the project would be carried out under a long-term strategic plan as it involves achieving food security on a national scale. He revealed the reason for such large reclamation project near the capital at Uthuru Thilafalhu was because no island in Maldives would be able to feasibly accommodate the cultivation of fruits and vegetables at the scale needed to ensure food security all over the country.

"This is an agricultural mega-project," said Shimad. "The central location would make it much easier to provide fresh food to resorts and the public as well."

Shimad also revealed that they would be exploring soil-less farming technology to cultivate crops at the UTF site. He highlighted that the government would be able to significantly cut down on import expenditure if it proved possible to provide organic and fresh produce locally under this initiative.

"In fact, this should have been done long ago," remarked Shimad, referring to the agricultural hub to be developed at UTF. "Overall, we will grow all fruits and vegetables. Ideally, I hope we will be able to farm onions at the location as well. Our aim is to grow all types of crops that can be grown in a tropical climate like this," he said.

"In totality, farmers in the Maldives will also benefit greatly from this project," said Shimad.

The reclamation project at Uthuru Thilafalhu by China Harbor will see the development of infrastructure, an industrial park for agriculture and a special cargo terminal. Uthuru Thila Falhu is located 14.6 km away from the Maldives' capital, Male' City.

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