Gov’t to Expand Fish Processing Capacity with Chinese Partnership

The government, seeking to bolster the country’s vital fishing industry, has partnered with Dongfang Electric International Corporation of China to establish new fish factories in three key atolls. The project marks a significant investment in the Maldives’ seafood processing capabilities.

The Memorandum of Understanding, signed today, will see the construction of facilities in Dhaalu Maadheyyaa, Gaafu Dhaalu Fiyoari, and Lhaviyani Felivaru. These facilities will include landing areas, processing plants and enhanced storage options.

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Development in Dhaalu Atoll will occur in two phases. Initial work will focus on the construction of a harbour, accommodation, roads, and a substantial 1,500-tonne cold storage facility alongside brine and blast freezing capabilities. The final phase will see the addition of a 50-tonne processing facility.

Gaafu Dhaalu Fiyoari is set to become a major processing hub. Plans include a large 3,000-tonne cold storage unit, a 100-tonne processing facility, freezing capabilities, and plants for fishmeal and rihaakuru (a traditional Maldivian fish paste) production.

The project in Felivaru aims to modernize existing infrastructure by replacing the current cannery, operated by the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO), with an updated 100-tonne processing facility.

Investing in Value-Added Exports

The government emphasized that the expansion of these facilities aligns with its goals of increasing the value of fish exports. Currently, a significant portion of the Maldives’ catch is exported in a raw or unprocessed state. By developing domestic processing capacity, the country aims to capture greater returns within the value chain.

Chinese Collaboration

The involvement of Dongfeng Electric International Corporation highlights China’s growing role in infrastructure development across the Indian Ocean region. This project further expands Beijing’s footprint in the Maldives, a strategically located archipelago nation.

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