Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture stated that it will start distributing 5,000 coconut palms to islands in the Maldives to address the difficulty in obtaining coconuts.
Speaking to PSM News, Director of Forest, Trees and Rehabilitation Centre Hussain Faisal said that the coconut palms will be distributed to 11 islands in seven atolls. As such, he said that the trees will be distributed in three rounds to the atolls under the supervision of the fisheries ministry. In addition, he said that the imported coconut palms are currently under quarantine and will be distributed after ensuring that they are free of any disease.
Additionally, Faisal said that the ministry received proposals from various atolls for the planting of these trees. As such, he said that arrangements are being made to deliver the trees to the first island soon. He said the ministry decided to distribute the trees to the islands after making arrangements for permanent maintenance. He also said that the ministry is working with island councils to assign designated individuals to the trees.
Furthermore, Faisal said that individuals from local councils, women's development committees (WDCs), and private associations have also submitted proposals to the ministry. In addition, the trees will be maintained on a permanent basis and reports on the trees will be collected regularly. He also said that the ministry decided to allocate a certain number of land to different islands under the land use plans of these islands.
The ministry stated that the 5,000 imported trees have not been tested for any disease and will not affect others in the islands. The ministry also predicts that the trees will be profitable within the next two or three years.