ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is planning to increase maize cultivation to 50,000 to 60,000 hactares from the 20,000 last year by making more fertilizer available Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said while market prices for maize has soared amid import controls and a collapse of the currency.
In 2021 Sri Lanka had produced about 90,000 metric tonnes of maize with farmers cultivating only 20,000 hactares.
“We were planning to increase it to 50,000 to 60,000 hectares,” Minister Gunawardene said. “But we now seeing that farmer are ready to cultivate 110,000 hectares.
“If they do cultivate this area, in about two seasons we will be able to produce the entire requirement.”
Plentiful maize would also help stabilize or bring down the prices of poultry products he said.
Related Sri Lanka chicken, egg production plunge amid soft-peg collapse
Pushed by the bakery owners, which raises their prices in a cartel-like fashion with media conferences Sri Lanka’s Consumer Affairs Authority slammed price controls on eggs, delaying an early supply response going against the ‘Social Market Economy’ which Sri Lanka is supposed to operate after a economic collapse from money printing and resulting controls.
The Ministry of Agriculture had called farmers to register on their website to get subsidized fertilizer which had drawn a stronger than expected response, the said.
Sri Lanka is expecting to give fertilizer for rice 10,000 rupees, which is below the market price of around 40,000 rupees a metric tonne he said. Maize farmers will be given at 15,000 rupees a tonne, he said.
More than 46,000 farmers have registered through the agrarian.lk website to get fertilizer, Minister Gunewardene said. (Colombo/Aug25/2022)