Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO), on Wednesday, has issued a request to southern fishing crews to present themselves at the tuna cannery in Koodoo to collect outstanding payments.
In a statement given to local media outlet Mihaaru, Mohamed Solih, a fisherman from Gemanafushi, Ghaaf Alif Atoll, revealed that payments for loads of fish purchased by MIFCO have been pending for two weeks.
Mohamed Solih stated that this was a considerable delay as MIFCO initially made payments on alternate days or a weekly basis.
Adhly Ismail, the Managing Director of MIFCO, explained the reasons behind the company’s financial problems to Mihaaru on Wednesday.
According to his statement, it is not possible to purchase frozen fish from local fishermen at reasonable rates and export it at a low market price of USD 1,500 per tonne without making a loss. The price of frozen fish in the global market has been consistently low for the past five years.
He also highlighted that payments for frozen fish are only received after shipment, in contrast to processed goods which may even be paid for in advance.
Stating that increasing the production of value-added goods is the only way to solve MIFCO’s financial difficulties, Adhly guaranteed that MIFCO would be able to increase the daily production capacity of value-added products to 50 tonnes within the next eight months.
The government has spent MVR140 million as financial aid to the debt-laden fisheries company since 2013. The latest of these has been a sum of MVR25 million which the state allocated to MIFCO on Wednesday.