Sri Lanka rough rice forecast raised to 2.97mn tonnes for 2020 main season

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rough rice harvest in the main (Maha) cultivation season, where harvesting is now underway, has been raised to 2.97 million metric tonnes, which is close to last year’s production of 3.07 million tonnes.

Sri Lanka’s Department of Agriculture was earlier forecasting 2.4 million metric tonnes.

After wastage of 6 percent and seed paddy of 3 percent 2.77 million metric tonnes of rough rice would be left for milling.

At a 68 percent milling ratio, about 1.88 million metric tonnes of rice would be produced.

The main season production would be enough to 9.5 months of domestic use.

Sri Lanka produces about 1.5 million metric tonnes in the second Yala cultivation season.

The forecast is based on 756,840 hactres of rice cultivated rice reported by December 2020 or 92 percent of the expected total area being farmed.

About 27,059 hectares of paddy was hit by floods in Batticaloa and Kurunegala districts.

The state has set mandated floor prices for rice.

Sri Lanka’s farmers do not produce export grade rice due to years of protection and high floor prices.

Though yields have risen with subsidized fertilizer and better seed, no effort has been made to improve aroma and palate. (Colombo/Feb24/2020)