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Reference Date: 16-December-2013

The entire land area of the country is only 300 sq km of which some 9 000 hectares are covered with permanent crops dominated by coconuts; only 3 990 hectares are considered arable. Practically no cereals are produced, therefore the population, estimated at 329 000 (FAOSTAT, 2013), is heavily dependent on imported food.

Cereal import requirements in 2013 are forecast at above-average level of about 49 600 tonnes, consisting mainly of wheat and rice. The Maldives has, however, very productive fisheries sector which provides a good source of food locally and income by supplying to the tourism industry which caters for some 1 million tourists annually. The main issue in the Maldives within the agriculture sector is to develop better linkages to the tourism industry for the marketing of local agriculture products in order to enhance the livelihoods of farmers and better ensure their food security. The biggest challenge for agriculture is depletion of the freshwater aquifers with implications for irrigation as well as drinking purposes. Overall food security is satisfactory.

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