Addu City council announced the decision to release land for agricultural purposes and has opened for applications from those among the public seeking to acquire land plots.
According to the council, those interested in farming or creating wet paddies to grow taro can now send in their applications via email to the respective district offices.
This decision by the Addu City Council comes at a time when the world's economy is struggling and there has been setbacks in the transportation of various goods owing to the global pandemic COVID-19. One of the greatest concern amid this health crisis for Maldives, in particular, arises due to the country's heavily dependence on imports for food supply.
In response to such concerns raised by the public, government shareholding companies like State Trading Organization (STO) have assured they are committed to helping market and sell products grown by local farmers.
Stating that, it is vital to promote agriculture in Maldives to ensure food security both now and in the future, the city council urged those who have previously taken land plots for agricultural purposes continue their projects.
Furthermore, the council stated that it would provide any assistance that was required by local farmers and will work to facilitate any aid granted to them from the government as well.
It is estimated that Maldives' heavily tourism reliant economy will face severe repercussions as a result of the pandemic and experience a shortfall of approximately USD 450 million (MVR 6.9 billion) in foreign currency.
Presently, Maldives records 19 confirmed and six active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 13 recoveries. While there are two confirmed cases of Maldivians, no local to local transmissions have been recorded.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 1,203,188 people and claimed over 64,747 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 246,760 people have recovered.