MDP administration will nullify Uthuru Thila Falhu agriculture agreement with China company: Fayyaz Ismail

02 Apr 2024 | 01:01
MDP Chairperson Fayyaz Ismail in the TV Program

Fayyaz Ismail, Chairperson of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and former Economic Minister, announced plans to nullify the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) for agricultural development in Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF) Island.

Fayyaz stated that under an MDP administration, the agreement would be voided due to UTF's intended use as a residential area for Male' citizens.

However, fayyaz noted that efforts would be made to clarify the details of the agreement before informing the China company.

The MoU, signed by the Maldives Industrial Development Free Zone Plc (MIDFZ) and CHEC on March 28, aimed to establish an Agricultural Economic Zone on UTF Island. MIDFZ, a collaboration involving several government entities, spearheaded the agreement, with Shimad Ibrahim representing MIDFZ and Mao Bao representing CHEC.

The project's primary objective was to enhance domestic food production, focusing on fruits, vegetables, and poultry to reduce reliance on imports and bolster food security.

The development plan included land reclamation, infrastructure establishment, an agricultural industrial park, and terminal construction.

Despite the project's goals, Ismail questioned the government's decision to allocate UTF for agricultural purposes, emphasizing MDP's intention to utilize UTF for long-term housing for Male' citizens.

He expressed surprise at the allocation of such a significant area to a Chinese company for agriculture, suggesting that it would be economically preferable to conduct agricultural activities on other available islands.