Paddy farmers save 300 million for the country – Agriculture Minister

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –While addressing a discussion held at the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday (06), the Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera said the farmers who cultivate paddy managed to save 300 million dollars to the country during this year.

As the Cabinet has approved the holding of a National Agricultural Educational Exhibition this year, a discussion regarding the exhibition was held at the Ministry of Agriculture.

The minister expressing his views said the government imported 800,000 metric tons of rice into Sri Lanka in the year 2022 spending 300 million dollars. This amount of rice is also the largest amount of rice imported to this country in a year. Also, in any previous year, rice has not been imported from January to the end of the year.

But in the year 2023, not even a grain of rice has been imported from abroad. The reason for this is that the farmers have taken steps to produce as much rice as the country needs in the last Yala and Maha seasons, and the government has taken steps to provide the necessary fertilizers and subsidies to the farmers even in the midst of some difficulties.

“Our farmers have contributed to save 300 million dollars to our country this year. The government provided many concessions and chemical fertilizers to the farmers in the last Yala season and the Maha season and in the 2023 Yala season. As a result, by the end of this year, there will be a surplus of 300,000 metric tons of rice in this country.”

“On an average, the national rice requirement for the country’s consumption is 2.4 million metric tons. But the Department of Agriculture has predicted that we will get 2.7 lakh metric tons of rice by the end of this year,” the Minister added.

The Minister also mentioned that it is necessary to think broadly about the use of the excess rice and that it is time to focus more on the production of rice varieties that can be exported.

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