The Indian High Commission in Maldives, on Tuesday, announced the expansion of Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) facilities, a project funded by the USD 800 million credit line extended by India to Maldives.
According to the official statement, an estimated MVR 18 million will be utilized to develop 50 tonne ice plant in Gemanafushi, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, in addition to a 100 tonne ice storage facility.
Similarly, MIFCO's Felivaru Fisheries Complex based in Felivaru, Lhaviyani Atoll, is also scheduled for expansion through the development of fish collection and storage facilities, and a processing plant for cooked tuna loins and fishmeals.
The High Commission further expressed hopes that the project would benefit the Maldives by increasing fish collection and storage capacity and make collection operations more efficient, enabling the country to acquire new markets.
They also highlighted their expectations that by upgrading ice plants and increasing the value of Maldives' fish products, the project would make way for additional sources of income.
"We are confident that this project would reinforce India’s time-honoured bonds of partnership with the Maldives", noted the High Commission.
"India and Maldives continue to nurture our growing partnership in fisheries that also includes the ice plants being set up in Addu Atoll, Kashidhoo (Kaafu Atoll) and Gaafaru (Kaafu Atoll) through Indian grants and several capacity building programmes".
The credit line agreement was signed by Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer and India’s Export-Import Bank (EXIM)'s Chief General Manager Sudhattaa Mandal.
The loan carries an interest rate of 1.75 percent, and must be repaid within 20 years with a grace period of five years.
All loans will be issued through the EXIM Bank when the Maldivian government presents India with proposals for future projects.