Thoddoo to begin cultivating corn and sorghum in watermelon fields

Farm workers water a field in A. A. Thoddoo. (Photo/Twitter/Thoddoo Dhanduverin)

A. A. Thoddoo, an island famous for its watermelon and other agricultural produce, is scheduled to begin cultivating corn and sorghum in its watermelon fields, in an effort to strengthen national food security as Maldives faces the holy month of Ramadan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thoddoo Council has issued a notice announcing the opportunity to grow corn and sorghum in its watermelon fields.

Both produce are easy to cultivate and can be cultivated in watermelon fields without additional expenditure, it noted.

The council said it had therefore made the decision to grant permission to cultivate corn and sorghum in designated watermelon fields for Ramadan - a month consistently marked by a hike in food consumption nationwide.

Farmers will be provided with corn and sorghum seeds next Sunday.

Farmers must finish planting corn and sorghum seeds in the fields by Tuesday, April 7. They will not be allowed to cultivate any other produce in the designated fields.

The corn and sorghum cultivated in the fields is expected to be ready for sale within two months.

Maldives, which is highly dependent on imports, has been hit hard by the new coronavirus pandemic. Following the disruption in global transport due to the pandemic, the Maldivian government is urging an increase in investments towards the local agricultural industry.

State Trading Organization (STO) has announced it will open an AgriCenter in May, and has pledged to purchase all locally grown produce at better prices than market prices.

The AgriCenter will be established in front of the North Harbor in the Maldivian capital, Male’ City. The Center will purchase locally grown produce and wholesale it across Maldives, and retail it via the STO Supermart.