ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rough rice output is expected to hit 2.9 million metric tonnes in the Maha 2019 cultivation season that has just finished, up from 2.4 million metric tonnes last year, ending a two years of drought.
Sri Lanka’s rice production has been steadily recovering after plunging in 2016 due to the worst drought in four decades.
Sri Lanka’s rice farmers had sown 760,000 hectares of rice on the back of good rain in 2019, up from 667,000 hectares last year, the Department of Agriculture said.
Maha cultivation fell to a low of 543 million hectares in 2016, following a bumper harvest in 2015, when 756,000 hectares of rice was cultivated.
About 45,000 hectares of rice had been damaged due to floods and pests, triggering crop damages of 89,000 metric tonnes.
After setting aside 170,000 metric tonnes for seed paddy, about 3.69 million metric tonnes would be available for milling.
The agriculture department estimates about 1.83 million milled rice would be produced, enough for 9.36 months of consumption. (Colombo/May28/2019)