Coconut palm trees tested for disease

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has tested samples to identify the disease plaguing the coconut palm trees in the Maldives.

A team from the FAO visited nine atolls and collected and analysed samples to identify the disease in order to revive the coconut tree population. However, the results of the analysis were not disclosed. The team visited Haa Alifu Atoll, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Shaviyani Atoll, Kaafu Atoll, Alifu Alifu Atoll, Alifu Dhaalu Atoll, Laamu Atoll, Fuvahmulah City and Addu City.

The Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture stated that the condition of the trees has been analysed and that they have determined the action that needs to be taken. The ministry has also held a meeting with relevant authorities to discuss the challenges in coconut production and provide information on controlling the disease spread. In addition, experts from FAO provided information on reviving coconut production and producing value-added coconut products. A total of 54 individuals attended the meeting.

The ministry has planted over 3,000 coconut palm trees in 26 islands as part of a tree planting programme to solve the difficulty in producing coconuts. The programme is financed by the Green Fund and aims to plant around 5,000 coconut palms in seven atolls under the supervision of the ministry. The trees are expected to mature and become profitable within two to three years.