IFAD green-lights proposed extension for MEDP

Sea cucumber hatches in Laamu Atoll — Photo: Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has endorsed the Government of Maldives to extend the Mariculture Enterprise Development Project (MEDP).

The MEDP was started in 2013 and is a five-year program. With IFAD’s endorsement, the project was extended by a period of 18 months.

Under the Mariculture Enterprise Development Project, two initiatives are underway in two different parts of the country.

The first project is the farming of sea cucumbers in Laamu Atoll. This project is run in Isdhoo, Dhambidhoo and Kalaidhoo islands and benefits 116 individuals. An official from Marine Research Centre (MRC), the agency under Fisheries Ministry that oversees the initiative, reported to Maldives Business Review that the extension will allow beneficiaries to further their operations and seek more markets.

As of October 2017, the total amount of exports for dried and preserved sea cucumbers was 77,955.86 kilos. The total value of the exports is MVR 7,669,991.16. Majority of exports of sea cucumbers are to Hong Kong.

Total value and weight of sea cucumbers exported 2014 – 2017

The second project is the aquatic animal quarantine. The quarantine is to be created in Hulhule’ island and will be the first stop for aquatic animals brought to Maldives. Such animals, the Center added, will first stay at the quarantine, where their condition will be assessed, prior to release. A date is to be announced for the completion of the project.


IFAD is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency based in Rome, the UN’s food and agriculture hub. Since 1978, the agency have provided US$18.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 464 million people.