ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is expecting a paddy (rough rice) harvest of 2.69 million metric tonnes in ongoing main (Maha) 2023 cultivation season as the country recovers from the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s soft-pegged central bank.
Up to December 756,538 hectares of paddy had been sown or 89 percent of the targeted 852,894 hectares for the season, the island’s agricultural office said.
Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector is recovering from a fertilizer ban and well as forex shortages from money printed to suppress interest rates which disrupted agro chemicals to the sector.
Sri Lanka has bought fertilizer with the help of World Bank and Asian Development Bank support.
Cultivation extents of 750,000, in past years have brought paddy harvests of around 3.0 million metric tonnes in the past when fertilizer was freely available.
There can be more late season cultivation which is captured in the final survey.
Sri Lanka has halted imports of rice pending the Maha harvest and officials have said that there are left-over rice stocks from two previous seasons. (Colombo/Feb04/2022)