(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Cabinet approval has been granted for a large buffer of rice to ensure stable market prices and food security throughout the year. Co-Cabinet Media Spokesman and Information & Communications Technology, Higher Education and Technology & Innovations Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardane announced this yesterday.
The buffer stock of 20,000 metric tonnes of preserved paddy will be purchased by the Paddy Marketing Board. Minister Gunawardane told the weekly Cabinet media briefing that the paddy surplus would be stored at a large store complex that was established in Minuwangoda during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. He said that the buffer stock would be maintained for distribution during times when rice prices increase, especially during the months of November and December every year.
A storing capacity for maintaining a preserved stock of up to 24,000 metric tons of rice is available at present with the Food Commissioners Department.
The fixed prices for rice in the market would be maintained by issuing the preserved stocks of rice via Sathosa at a government certified price.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Mahaveli, Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Development Ministry.
The reserve stock will comprise Samba and Naadu rice purchased by the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB).