Sri Lanka, Maldives in sea cucumber farming JV
EconomyNext – A visiting Maldivian government delegation has said it wants to promote a bilateral joint venture in Sri Lanka to farm sea cucumber, demand for which is growing in international markets.
Maldivian Minister of Finance and Treasury Abdullah Jihad said his government is keen to diversify its fishery as well as mariculture, the farming of aquatic plants and animals in salt water.
"We believe that Sri Lanka could be a viable and a great partner with us in this project," he was quoted as saying in a statement after meeting Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.
Jihad said sea cucumber has a growing international market and both countries can jointly grow it and earn export revenue.
"According to our research, sea cucumber grows twice as fast in Sri Lankan ocean water, due to the quality of salinity and ocean mud here," he said.
Partnering with a Sri Lankan mariculture firm, the Maldives is already doing an experimental sea cucumber project in Mannar, Bathiudeen’s electorate.
Bathiudeen suggested they can organise sea cucumber farming communities in Mannar, such as cooperatives, so that residents benefit from the new venture.
The statement said the majority of sea cucumber importers and consumers are Far Eastern markets like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Japan and Malaysia.