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Pakistan exporting 300 tons of chili to China in August.

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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300 tons of chili will be imported to China, freshly picked and dried at a pilot chilli field in Lahore, Punjab province in August, said Wu Guang, General Manager of Pakistan Subsidiary, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), adding that it is the first time Pakistani chili enter the Chinese market since 2020.

An experimental chili farm project with the cooperation between Pakistani farmers and their Chinese partners in July, – CMEC and Sichuan Litong Food Group – began to bear fruit, with a yield around three times Pakistani varieties.

It was noted that the trial chili farm project effectively completed 100 acres of plantation in the first half of 2021 in Lahore, this was noted by Chen Changwei, Chairman of Sichuan Litong Food Group. For the 100-acre-pilot-project, the quantities of seeds are 380 grams per acre, with a yield reaching 3 tons per acre. The total production is expected to reach 300 tons.

In Pakistan chili is grown on 47,349 hectares with a crop yield of about 2.68 tons per hectare (1.072 tons per acre) and an annual production of around 126,943 tons in FY2018-19.

As per Chen, they brought a total of 13 varieties of Chinese chilies to Pakistan since 2019. It took them three years to conduct the pilot program, and of all these 13 varieties, two varieties, namely, PJH-302 and PJH-407, have been certified for cultivation in Pakistan.

“We’re going to arrange a team of three agricultural experts on each chilli field of around 0.165 acres,” Wu Guang told China Economic Net. And these agricultural experts will train Pakistani staff in planting technology.

Advanced Chinese irrigation systems have also been introduced into the field. Umer Diyal, a farmer who worked in the pilot chili farm in Qasbi, Lahore, said China presented an irrigation system, and the expense of fertilizer has been reduced and every plant was getting water. “Watering of plants is not complex and expensive anymore,” he added.

Also, contract farming helps a lot when it comes to addressing farmers’ concerns about marketing.

Agriculture-related economy is vulnerable, so “We’re conducting contract farming with Pakistani farmers,” Wu Guang said.

Pakistani farmers agree to supply the agreed upon number of chilis, based on the quality standards and delivery requirements of CMEC. In return, CMEC agrees to buy the chili, at a price that is nailed down in advance.

“When the chilies are ripe, they are naturally dried and then shipped back to China for further processing,” Chen Changwei noted.

“This model generates employment in the rural economy, reduces risk for firms, and provides income for farmers,” Wu Guang said and further mentioned that in the next phase of the pilot chilli farm project, as many as 3000 acres of land would be brought under chilli cultivation.

Furthermore, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong praised the chili farming project, saying that the project is expected to produce more than 8,000 tons of dried chilies with a net income of more than 100,000 rupees per acre for local farmers.

Finally, Pakistan has another advantage over China in growing chilies. Sequential cropping is feasible here as the climate, soil, and water of Pakistan are different from that of China.

Chili is a tropical and sub-tropical plant which requires warmer weather.

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STO opens showroom in Hulhumale’

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State Trading Organization (STO) has opened a showroom specialized for construction in Hulhumale’.

The showroom was inaugurated by Construction Minister Dr. Abdulla Muthalib during a special ceremony held on Tuesday night.

Speaking at the ceremony, STO’s Managing Director Shimad Ibrahim stressed the role of the company’s former managements and board members in carrying forward the company and therefore extended them gratitude.

Situated at the same location as STO’s Hulhumale’ shop – next to STO’s Smart Store near Hulhuamle’ Hospital – the construction solutions showroom was opened following renovations up to modern standards.

STO reports that all construction-related products sold by the company will be available at the showroom including some of the most renowned brands sold by the company; Makita tools, Nippon paint and concrete from prominent mix designing brands among others.

The state-owned company is prominent in the local construction industry as STO’s constructions solutions is the largest importer and seller of construction-related products in the Maldives.

STO noted that customers can now place orders for construction-related products including Makita tools and Nippon paint via the Hulhumale’ showroom which would eliminate the need to travel to Male’ to make the purchases. Arrangements have been made in the showroom to prepare the colors of Nippon paint ordered by the customers on demand.

Henceforth, they attributed the opening of the new showroom as something which would bring easements to the lives of Hulhumale’ residents and construction industry partners operating in the suburb.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Economy thrives, projects speed ahead despite challenges

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Before President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu assumed office, the economic condition of the Maldives was significantly deteriorating. Experts attribute the primary reason for the depreciation of the Maldivian currency to the excessive printing of money by the previous administration.

According to statistics from the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), more than USD 518.04 million was printed over the last three consecutive years, marking a historic high compared to USD 388.53 million printed over 40 years.

Additionally, upon assuming office, President Muizzu inherited a heavy debt burden. The total debt amounted to over USD 7.71 billion, with a significant portion owed to companies for upcoming parliamentary elections and previously initiated projects, totaling USD 584.88 million.

Despite these challenges, President Muizzu has been proactive in rejuvenating the Maldives’ economic status. Within three months of his tenure, USD 35 million has been deposited into the sovereign development fund. The President estimates that more than USD 100 million will be deposited into the fund by the end of the year.

discontinuation of printing money has been regarded as a pivotal step towards economic progression for the Maldives

President Muizzu’s commitment to revitalizing the Maldivian economy without resorting to the printing of money is indeed a significant pledge. By discontinuing the practice of printing money, the government aims to address economic challenges while ensuring fiscal responsibility and long-term sustainability.

The decision to immediately halt the printing of money upon assuming office underscores President Muizzu’s determination to prioritize sound monetary policy. This move reflects an acknowledgment of the risks associated with excessive money printing, including inflation and currency devaluation, and signals a commitment to addressing these challenges through prudent financial management.

Furthermore, President Muizzu’s plans to boost the country’s prosperity and income by reducing reliance on loans and settling debts owed to both foreign and domestic entities demonstrate a holistic approach to economic revitalization.

attracting a vast pool of investors

The efforts of the present administration to attract a wide range of investors reflect a strategic approach to addressing the significant development needs of the Maldives. By engaging in investment forums both domestically and abroad, the government has been successful in showcasing the diverse investment opportunities available in the country.

The decision to host investment forums in countries like China and the UAE demonstrates a proactive approach to international investment promotion. These forums serve as platforms for highlighting the potential for investment in key sectors such as infrastructure, tourism, and hospitality. By creating awareness about these opportunities, the government aims to attract investors who are interested in contributing to the development of critical projects, including the establishment of bridges, domestic airports, and resorts.

Over 500 projects underway

The continuation of 527 projects, including those that faced interruptions due to non-payment to companies during the government transition, underscores the commitment of President Muizzu’s administration to ensure continuity and progress in ongoing initiatives. Despite the challenges encountered, efforts have been made to address issues such as delayed payments and optimize project expenses to keep important projects on track.

It’s notable that the current year’s budget, initially approved by the prior administration, may not have fully aligned with President Muizzu’s priorities and rules for project implementation. This misalignment may have resulted in some projects not receiving adequate budget allocations or not being included in the budget at all. However, the administration has taken steps to optimize expenses and prioritize projects that align with President Muizzu’s vision for development

Initiatives to enhance economic growth and foster sustainable growth

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recognized President Muizzu’s initiatives as some of the strongest implementations seen among world leaders, emphasizing their potential for substantial progression. The IMF applauded the government’s decision not to overdraw the government’s account and expressed its readiness to provide any assistance needed. This endorsement from the IMF underscores the effectiveness of President Muizzu’s economic policies and strategies.

Additionally, the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industries has voiced support for the government’s initiatives, recognizing them as favorable for the Maldivian future as a growing economy. Despite challenges such as a shortage of dollars for small businesses, the Chamber remains optimistic that the government’s decisive actions will lead to economic growth and stability in the value of the dollar.

The government has projected a 5.5 percent economic growth rate for this year, indicating confidence in the trajectory of the economy under President Muizzu’s leadership. Furthermore, President Muizzu revealed a significant reduction in the country’s primary debt balance, from USD 103.61 billion last year to USD 8.68 million in the current year. This reduction in debt, achieved within just four months, demonstrates the government’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and its ability to effectively manage the country’s finances.

Overall, these developments indicate that the government’s economic rejuvenation efforts have been successful, earning the confidence of global financial institutions in the Maldives’ future economic prospects.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Council to issue 14 plots in Hanimaadhoo for tourism development

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Haa Dhaalu atoll Hanimaadhoo island council has announced a 50-year lease on 14 plots from the island for tourism development purposes.

In the announcement put on gazette by the council, it has opened bid opportunity for interested bidders to lease the plots from Hanimaadhoo’s tourism zone.

The council has announced lease of 5,000 square feet plots for a 50-year lease period, for which interested proponents are required to register for the bids before 13:00hrs on April 30th, 2024.

For proponents wishing to mail the bid registration form, they can mail it to info@hanimaadhoo.gov.mv.

Proponents must furnish a bid registration, non-refundable, fee of MVR 1,000 for the 5,000 square feet plots. If proponents wish to acquire more than one plot, then they must pay MVR 1,000 per plot.

If the council annuls the announcement, it said the registration fees will be refunded to the proponents, and added the proponents will receive bid books upon registration.

Bid acceptance and opening are scheduled for April 30th, 2024 as well.

While the Hanimaadhoo International Airport is under an expansion project, the island has been putting efforts to increase its local tourism activities as well.

During his last month visit to Hanimaadhoo, President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu said the airport’s expansion will contribute towards increased tourism activity in the island.

He also said sustainable development cannot be achieved without individual development of key regions which include Hanimaadhoo as well.

Source(s): sun.mv

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