Jun 20, Colombo: The Agriculture Ministry of Sri Lanka predicts a shortage of rice in country in the event of a failure of the Yala harvest due to the drought.
A senior official at the Agriculture Ministry told ColomboPage that the rains have failed and the drought conditions in the agricultural areas were getting worse.
He said the country is currently experiencing the worst Yala season and would experience a rice shortage if the Yala harvest fails.
However, the official assured that there was a surplus of paddy in the Last Maha and Yala harvests and the country was not in any immediate danger of facing a rice shortage.
Agriculture Ministry statistics show that while the targeted acreage for cultivation during this Yala season was 494,100 hectares only 348,761 hectares have actually been cultivated.
The harvest is estimated at 1.25 million metric tons.
However, these figures are expected to see a drastic change due to the drought weather conditions experienced in most parts of the country, especially the agricultural areas.
Of the cultivated land, most paddy lands in the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts have been severely affected by the shortage of water.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, 5,000 hectares of paddy land in the Kurunegala District have been completely destroyed by the drought.