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Sri Lanka expects 2018 Maha paddy output to rise 57-pct after rains

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is expecting to a paddy output in the main Maha cultivation season to rebound 57 percent from a year earlier to 2.32 million kilograms with better rainfall, though it will be 17 below the peak cultivation.

Sri Lanka’s department of agriculture said 601,000 hectares of paddy had already been sown by December 2018, or 74 percent of the targeted 814,000 hectares.

Last year only 542,000 hectares was sown by the end of the season and over 70,000 hectares were damaged by drought.

In the 2017 Maha season only 1.47 million tonnes of rice was produced, generating about 1.34 million tonnes of milled rice, or about about half the bumper 2.8 million paddy harvest in 2015.

Due to years of protection Sri Lanka does not produce internationally traded grades of rice and the grain cannot be readily exported due to palatability and smell.

As a result of protection bumper harvest does not lead to an export boom, but low prices for farmers.

Sri Lanka’s expected 2018 Maha harvest is in the same levels as 2014 harvest when 2.23 million tonnes of paddy was produced. (Colombo/Feb22/2018)

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