Sri Lanka to allow import of 80,000MT of maize

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will allow 80,000 metric tonnes of maize to be imported for animal feed before January 31, 2020 with the bulk of the license issued to a state-run agency, following a shortfall in domestic production.

The cabinet of ministers had given the go ahead of the National Food Promotion Board a state-run agency to import 50,000 metric tonnes of maize to be distributed on request to animal husbandry companies.

Licenses for another 30,000 MT will be used to issued to feed manufacturers and poultry firms that are registered with the Department of Animal Production and Health.

A tax of 10 rupees will be charged for each kilogram of maize.

Sri Lanka’s agriculture is the most highly controlled sector of the economy and least productive and competitive.

In the last decade politically powerful maize collector oligopoly has emerged while the license raj is also lucrative.

In the 2018/2019 main cultivation season (Maha) about 250,000 MT of maize was estimated to have been produced, lower than the 330,000MT originally expected following fall army worm and pest damage, despite 89,000 hectares being sown

In the on going minor cultivation season (yala) only about 10,000 hectares are expected to be sown, which would product about 36,000MT of crop if there is no crop damage. (Colombo/Aug15/2019)