Sri Lanka drought hits 114,000 hectares of crops
ECONOMYNEXT – More than 114,000 hectares of cultivate land in Sri Lanka is facing destruction from an ongoing drought and 344,839 metric tonnes of paddy (rough rice) could be lost in the current season, a government statement said.
Sri Lanka’s entered the main Maha cultivation season saw only about third of the possible 800,000 hectare area under paddy being cultivated.
A good Maha season can product about three million tonnes of paddy with last year bringing about 2.9 million tonnes.
This season about 1.02 million tonnes of paddy and 620,000 tonnes of milled rice (68 percent milling ratio) is forecasted, by the Department of Agriculture.
Sri Lanka’s government has promised compensation of 10,000 rupees per acre of rice and other crops destroyed during the current drought.
Destroyed crops in 283,500 acres (114,729 hectares) will require 2.835 billion rupees in compensation.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the drought may expand spending by about 30 to 40 billion rupees.