The Government of the Maldives is to move forward with a plan to provide grants through the SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) to install RSW or water cooling systems and solar power systems in 200 vessels to keep tuna catches fresh.
The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB)-funded program aims to ensure that local fishermen can keep their catch fresh without spoiling it for longer. This initiative is also in line with the government’s new economic policy aimed at solving the difficulties faced by the local fishing industry.
Benefits under the subsidy scheme
– Installation of RSW or water cooling system in the lower deck of fishing vessels
– Installation of solar power systems in ships to harness renewable energy to power boats
The grant is administered as a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture and the Ministry of Economic Development. The program will run in two distinct phases, with each phase targeted at 100 vessels.
The first phase of the program will run for the rest of the current year and into 2023. Participation in the program officially opened on Monday November 14 and will be effective until December 31. Interested parties should send their completed application to the SDFC online portal (https://portal.sdfc.mv/).
– A licensed fishing boat
– The vessel should currently be used exclusively for fishing purposes
– The vessel must exceed 50 feet in length and must be able to store a minimum of 15 tons of fish
– The vessel must have sufficient lower deck area to install the water cooling system
Applicants who already have outstanding or pending loan payments will be reviewed against their payment conduct for their respective loan facilities.
The issuance of the loan will take place in two distinct stages. The Department of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture will review applications and cross-check information with vessels to determine the type of systems they require. The second stage will include the evaluation of the technical specifications of the vessels.
As part of the second stage, applicants will have the opportunity to select their preferred supplier from whom they will purchase the cooling systems. The suppliers will all be companies listed with SDFC.
Financing facilities will be arranged according to the cooling system selected.