Paddy export orders topping 100,000 met. tons
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Sri Lanka has received orders for over 100,000 metric tons of rice from several countries in the African and Middle Eastern regions, Cooperatives and Internal Trade Ministry Secretary Sunil S Sirisena said. According to the Secretary, the orders are from Kenya, South Africa, Dubhai, Somalia and Ethiopia.
Rice production in the country has seen a tremendous increase with large tracts of paddy land being brought under the plough after the end of the 30 year conflict.
Ministry Secretary Sirisena said the country has already exported 6,000 MT of rice to South Africa and 3,000 Mt of rice to Dubhai. “Sri Lanka ships 25 containers of rice every week to Dubhai while 15 containers are shipped to South Africa, Ethiopia and Somalia, he said.
Meanwhile, the Paddy Marketing Board yesterday said that it has purchased the largest stock of paddy, amounting to 112, 277 metric tons from the farmers during this Maha season.
The Board has managed to purchase a record quantity of paddy exceeding 23,755 metric tons from the Anuradhapura district as against 18,242 and 22,452 metric tones from Ampara and Pollonnaruwa districts during this season.
The Board official told the Daily News that farmers like to sell their produce to the Board as they are assured of a higher price than that offered by paddy mill owners and private businessmen.
He said that this is the first time that the Board spent over Rs. 3,190 million for paddy during the Maha season.
A number of programs launched by the government to boost agriculture sector in the country have also helped promote paddy production. The fertilizer subsidy and the Divi Neguma programme have made an impact on the promotion of paddy harvest in the country.