Strategic Partnerships, Innovative Solutions, and Collective Action

towards Sustainable Agricultural Practices, Climate Resilience and Increased Opportunities for People and Nature

February 9, 2024
aerial image of a Maldivian agricultural island

7th February 2024, Laamu Atoll, Maldives:  The team from Agro National Corporation (AgroNAT) was joined by officials from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives, and the Government of Japan on a field trip to Laamu Atoll on Wednesday, which showcased the tangible impacts of Japanese-funded initiatives supported by UNDP in the Maldives led by AgroNAT, focusing on pest and disease management in agriculture, agricultural distribution center efficiency, together with the integration of solar-powered cold storage units.

aerial image of a farm in Maldives

Farm in Maldivian agricultural island in Laamu Atoll.

Photo: Ismail Mohamed/UNDP Maldives

These initiatives are part of projects underway to bolster agricultural resilience and economic sustainability in the region supported by the Government and People of Japan, namely the Project for Developing Sustainable Agricultural Economy (PDSAE) to Increase Food Security and initiatives under UNDP’s Climate Promise 2. 

papaya growing on tree

Papaya trees on a farm maintained by AgroNAT in Maldivian agricultural island in Laamu Atoll.

Photo: Ismail Mohamed/UNDP Maldives

One of the pivotal aspects of the field trip was a visit to purview the training programme on pest and disease management held at farms in Gan, Laamu Atoll. Launched with the support of the Government and People of Japan, this initiative led by AgroNAT is reshaping traditional agricultural practices while addressing contemporary challenges such as climate change and food security. This component of the PDSAE aims to equip local farmers with the knowledge and tools necessary to combat agricultural pests and diseases effectively. By providing technical expertise and training, the project not only enhances agricultural productivity but also empowers farmers to adopt sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.

UNDP, Japan and AgroNAT teams visiting farms

Ambassador Takeuchi, UNDP Resident Representative Enrico Gaveglia visiting farms in Laamu Atoll with AgroNAT team

Photo: Ismail Mohamed/UNDP Maldives

Furthermore, the visit to the distribution center in Gan shed light on the importance of efficient supply-chain management in agriculture. With the support of the Japanese-funded project, the distribution center serves as a vital hub for storing, processing, and distributing agricultural produce across the atoll. By streamlining logistical processes and improving infrastructure, the center facilitates the seamless flow of goods from farms to markets, ultimately enhancing market access and increasing income opportunities for farmers.

UNDP, Japan and AgroNAT teams visiting the distribution centre

Mission visiting the distribution centre in Laamu Gan

Photo: Ismail Mohamed/UNDP Maldives

The delegation also visited the solar-powered cold storage units established with Japan support in Laamu Atoll. The installation of these cold storage units represents a significant stride towards climate resilience and food security. By harnessing renewable energy sources, local farmers can now preserve their produce efficiently, mitigating post-harvest losses and ensuring a steady supply of fresh agricultural products to the market.

Japanese Ambassador, UNDP Resident Rep and AgroNAT MD standing in front of the cold storage units

Ambassador Takeuchi, UNDP Resident Representative Enrico Gaveglia and AgroNAT MD Hussain Didi at one of the cold storages in Laamu

Photo: Ismail Mohamed/UNDP Maldives

Highlighting the collaborative efforts driving sustainable development in the Maldives, the field visit was attended by Japanese Ambassador to the Maldives, HE Takeuchi Midori and UNDP Resident Representative to the Maldives Enrico Gaveglia, together with the Managing Director of AgroNAT, Hussain Didi, and the teams - underscoring the commitment of both Japan and the UNDP to support initiatives that promote economic growth and livelihoods, environmental sustainability, and climate resilience in the Maldives.

teams walking through the farms with papaya plants

Mission visiting the farms in Laamu Gan

Photo: Ismail Mohamed/UNDP Maldives

Beyond its immediate benefits, the PDSAE project and Climate Promise 2 initiatives holds far-reaching implications for the Maldivian agricultural sector. By enhancing food security, promoting import substitution, creating employment opportunities, and improving the trade balance, together with increasing climate-resilience and supporting energy transition, the projects contribute to the broader goal of building a resilient and inclusive economy. Moreover, by investing in women in agriculture and encouraging entrepreneurship, it fosters social empowerment and community development across the archipelago.

woman farmer talking to Japanese Ambassador and UNDP Res Rep with AgroNAT official

Ambassador Takeuchi, UNDP Resident Representative Enrico Gaveglia and AgroNAT member speaking to women farmers in Laamu

Photo: Ismail Mohamed/UNDP Maldives