ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of minister has approved the import of 300,000 metric tonnes of rice to increase the supply, a government statement said, with crop losses expected due to the use of organic fertilizer.
The Minister of Trade had been given approval to import 200,000 metric tonnes of Nadu type rice (parboiled) and 100,000 tonnes of GR11 short grain rice.
GR11 is a substitute for Samba, the statement said.
The cabinet had earlier approved the import of 100,000 metric tonnes of rice.
These rice will be imported from India, cabinet spokesman Minister Ramesh Pathirana said.
Rice prices have moved up and imports are to stabilize prices, he said.
Stat-run Sathosa and some private traders have been allowed to import rice, Minister Pathirana said.
At least 30,000 metric tonnes had been imported from Myanmar.
Sri Lanka has restricted the import of rice which has allowed millers to drive up prices.
However in the Maha season, where harvesting begins from around February, crop losses are expected due to a ban on chemical fertilizer and agro-chemical import. (Colombo/Jan11/2021)