Sri Lanka expects record rice crop in 2016

ECONOMYEXT – Sri Lanka is expecting a record rice production of 2.93 million metric tonnes in the current major cropping season (Maha) up 7 percent from the average over the last three years, forecasters have said. The Department of Agriculture at the University of Peradeniya said up to December 2015 769,000 hactares of paddy had already been sown, which was 5 percent higher than the average of the last three years. This was 92 percent of the targeted 838,142 hectares targeted fro this year. In Kurunegala, Amapara and Mahaweli H system, higher than targeted extents had been sown. In Batticaloa, 12,500 hactares have been damaged by floods while pest damage in Ampara, Kaluthara, Galle and Nuwara Eliya districts had taken the total to 14.149 hactares. Havesting will begin from the Eastern Province, Kurunegala and Moneragala districts. In January about 9 percent the crop will come off the fields, in February 54 percent and in March 37 percent. Sri Lanka’s state buys up rice to keep prices artificially high and rice had been piling up in warehouses. Import taxes also prevent cheaper rice from coming to poor consumers. During the last decade wheat prices consumed mostly by the poorest people in Sri Lanka especially in estates were taxed at high levels to keep them out of their reach. Most of Sri Lanka’s rice does not fall into standard internationally traded grades and cannot be readily exported. (Colombo/Jan27/2016)

Latest Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *