For the first time, the Maldives will experience controlled food prices during the month of Ramadan, announced by the Ministry of Agriculture. Breaking from the trend of previous years, where Ramadan was associated with steep price increases, the government has taken a proactive stance to stabilise market prices.
Each year, Ramadan traditionally sees a spike in market prices, largely attributed to a mismatch between demand and supply. However, this year marks a significant shift in the government’s approach to managing this issue. The Ministry has outlined a dedicated strategy in its week-14 roadmap to regulate food prices effectively.
Speaking on PSM News’ Raajje Miadhu programme, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Animal Welfare, Hussain Ismail, elaborated on the ministry’s plan. The immediate step involves identifying the types of foods commonly consumed during Ramadan and estimating the required quantities. Based on these evaluations, the market prices will be regulated to ensure the affordability and accessibility of food items, particularly those produced within the Maldives.
State Minister Ismail expressed confidence in the new strategy, anticipating that it will lead to more affordable prices for locally produced goods during Ramadan. The approach includes assessing the general consumption patterns of food items and determining the availability of these products in the market. This assessment will also guide decisions on the quantity of goods that need to be imported.
One of the key challenges highlighted by State Minister Ismail is the issue of farmers not bringing their produce to the market fresh. To address this, the Ministry is collaborating with AgroNet to devise a solution.
Additionally, Minister Ismail pointed out the current lack of comprehensive studies on the islands and the extent of agricultural product cultivation. The ministry plans to undertake such studies, which are expected to provide valuable insights into the quantity of imports needed and further assist in controlling prices.
This initiative represents a significant move by the Maldives government to support its citizens during the holy month of Ramadan by ensuring the availability of affordable food, thereby easing the financial burden on households across the nation.