Sri Lanka Yala 2018 rice forecast up 18-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is forecasting 1.080 million tonnes of paddy (rough rice) to be produced in the ‘Yala’ minor cultivation season that falls in the second half of the year, which is up 18 percent from last year output of 909,000 metric tonnes.

Up to the end of May 273,471 hectares of rice had been sown, up from the last year’s extent of only 249,000 hectares amid one of the worst droughts in history.

The production forecast is based on the actually sown extent and could be revised based.

The department of agriculture said an extent of 423,000 hectares of area is targeted this year. Last year Sri Lanka failed to achieve a target of 400,000 hectares due to drought.

In good years, when over 400,000 hectares are cultivated, the Yala season could bring as much as 1.5 million metric tonnes of rice.

Rains have been better this year.

The agricultural department has said  average rainfall is expected this year for the June, July and August Yala season as climate models have indicated that sea surface temperatures in the Pacific and Indian Oceans will remain neutral for the rest of the season.  (Colombo/July09/2018)

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