ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is projecting a record 424,508 metric tonne maize harvest in the main Maha season in 2021 amid an import ban, sharply up from a 250,000 metric tonnes harvest last year, the state agricultural office said.
In the current 2020/21 Maha season 110,289 hectares of maize had been cultivated up from 88,000 last year.
About 15,600 hectares had been damaged by fall army worm in Eastern, North Central and Uva provinces.
Last year about 45,000 hectares were hit by fall armyworm to various degrees.
Maize is mostly used for animal feed.
Sri Lanka has banned maize imports, keeping domestic prices high allowing an oligopoly of collectors to charge high prices from feed millers and chicken farmers.
The state has now started to lease land to businessmen to grow maize on a commercial basis. (Colombo/Feb23/2021)