Sri Lanka to maintain rice buffer stocks
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka aims to use its surplus rice production to build buffer stocks to guard against global supply disruptions that might interrupt imports during times of shortages, a senior official said.
Rohan Wijekoon, Director General of the Department of Agriculture, said the island was now self-sufficient in rice, with a total crop of 2.71 million tonnes from the two harvest seasons while the need was for only 2.27 million tonnes.
The two main rice exporters were India and Thailand but global rice stocks were decreasing along with stock to use ratio, he told an innovation forum held by the Organisation of Professional Associations with the United Nations development Program.
“The message is that although we produce enough rice, if there’s a problem caused by drought or flood we don’t have a place to import rice from,” he said.
“So with this surplus we have to maintain buffer stocks.” (Colombo/September 22 2015)