Sri Lanka expects near record rice output in 2019

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is expected to produce 2.85 million tonnes of paddy (rough rice) in the current Maha major cultivation season, indicating a full recovery from two years of drought and almost reaching records set in 2015 and 2016, an official forecast said.

Sri Lanka’s Department of Agriculture revised up the 2018/2019 Maha area cultivated to 743,000 in the current season based on December data out of a target of 828,455 hectares.

In the 2017/2018 Maha season, Sri Lanka’s paddy farmers cultivated 643,000 hectares of paddy as the country gradually recovered from drought which saw the sown extend falling to just 543,000 hectares.

About 42,000 hectares of rice paddies had been damaged due to floods in the North and the East.

The paddy forecast for 2019 is up 18.8 percent from a year earlier.

The Department of Agriculture said after adjusting for seed paddy and wastage, 2.64 million tonnes of paddy will be available for milling, which will produce about 1.8 million metric tonnes of milled rice.

This may be enough for 9.19 months of consumption.

Sri Lanka has produced about 1.4 million tonnes of paddy in the Yala minor season in 2018, lower than records of 1.9 million tonnes seen in some years. (Colombo/Feb11/2019 – SB)

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