15 days to Ramadan: Farmers say they are ready

A farmer working in Goidhoo. (Sun file photo)

With only about two weeks left for the month of Ramadan, farmers from the main agricultural islands of Maldives say they are ready to meet the demands.

All three islands - AA. Thoddoo, K. Kaashidhoo and Th. Kandoodhoo, have said that they are ready, and can supply to meet the annual increase of demands in time for Ramadan.

Speaking to Sun, the Vice President of Thoddoo council Aminath Fazla said that the crops grown for Ramadan were growing very well.

“The weather is very nice. So, all the farms are also growing very nicely. Will start sending watermelons close to the beginning of roadha.”

Watermelon is one of the most high-in-demand varieties for this period, with farmers growing much more than usual to meet the demands. Thoddoo is infamous for growing watermelon in Maldives.

Fazna also stated that they have not faced any difficulties so far, in cultivating other items such as varieties of gourd, papaya and different greens.

Meanwhile, council member of Kaashidhoo Fathimath Nasha said to Sun that farming was good on the island as well.

“Currently, we are sending two boat-full of bananas every week from the island.”

The main item grown in Kaashidhoo is bananas, but atermelon is also grown in smaller quantities.

The President of Kandoodhoo Council Ahmed Rehan also spoke to Sun. He said that they will be able to supply peppers to Male’ without any difficulties.

“We were unable to supply last year due to the situation of COVID-19. In addition to that, many diseases were widespread in the farms last year. But this year, all the farms are growing well.”

He further revealed that the island was currently sending out 80-sacks full of pepper every other day.

In addition to pepper, watermelon and banana are widely grown on the island as well.

Kandoodhoo is most well-known for growing Kandoodhoo pepper - named locally after the island itself.

At the moment, a kilo of Kandhoodho pepper retails between MVR 300 to 200 from the local markets in Male’. Salesmen of the market stalls predict that the prices will soar up to MVR 500 for Ramadan.

The watermelon grown in time for Ramadan have not yet hit the markets, and currently, those imported from India are available for MVR 18 – 20 per kg.