Sri Lanka state to purchase 140,000 metric tons of paddy

(February 04, Colombo - Lanka Polity)  Sri Lanka Ministry of Agriculture Development and Peasant Services says that the state will purchase 140,000 metric tons of paddy in the Maha season. A cabinet paper has been submitted to allocate Rs. 4060 million in this purpose, a spokesman of the Ministry said.

The harvesting of the Maha season is to begin by the end of this month. The rice prices in Sri Lankan market have escalated sharply. The government has permitted import of rice and analysts predict this will have repercussions when harvesting begins causing drop of purchasing prices.

The state expects to purchase 50,000 metric tons from Polonnaruwa district where the Minister of Agriculture Development and Peasant Services Maithripala Sirisena's family members have big rice processing and marketing business. From Anuradhapura district and the Eastern Provinces 30,000 metric tons will be purchased while 15,000 metric tons each will be purchased from Northwestern and Southern Provinces.

The government registered price for a kilo of paddy this year is Rs. 28 for Nadu rice and Rs. 30 for Samba rice. Currently, the price of a kilo of Nadu rice is around Rs. 60 in the market and a kilo of Samba rice is around Rs. 85.

Paddy processed by the state is usually sold to the private sector later to be processed and issued to the market. A portion is kept as a buffer stock. State paddy purchasing is a mechanism aimed at regulating the market prices in harvesting times so that the farmers can have a reasonable price.


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