Sri Lanka expects bumper paddy harvest
EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s government has allocated six billion rupees to begin buying paddy from farmers at fixed prices during the forthcoming ‘Yala’ harvest where a bumper crop is expected, officials said.
Government spokesman Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the Paddy Marketing Board will buy paddy directly from farmers in the Yala season.
The Cabinet of ministers this week approved a proposal made by Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, Minister of Food Security, to buy ‘Keeri Samba’ rice and ‘Samba’ rice for 50 rupees a kilo and ‘Nadu’ rice for 45 rupees a kilo.
The Agriculture Department has raised its estimate of the ‘Yala’ harvest to 1.6 million tonnes from 1.38 million tonnes previously.
The rice is expected to reach the market from early August and the Paddy Marketing Board will buy about 120,000 tonnes, the Ministry of Food Security said.
Cabinet approved spending six billion rupees to buy the crop which is to be financed by two state banks, Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank on Treasury guarantees.
(Colombo/July 16, 2015)