Feb 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade, Johnston Fernando said yesterday the government will purchase the paddy under the prices increased in the budget now.
The government has increased the registered purchasing price of unprocessed rice by Rs. 4-5 per kilo.
Accordingly, price of a kilo of Naadu paddy will be increased by Rs. 4 to 32 rupees while a kilo of Samba variety will be purchased at 35 rupees per kilo, Rs. 5 above the previous price.
Minister Fernando noted that the President, keeping up with the pledge he made in his first election in 2005 to double the paddy prices, had now fulfilled the promise.
The government re-established the dissolved Paddy Marketing Board and allocated money to purchase paddy to normalize the prices in the market.
The programme to purchase paddy under the new prices will start from the Ampara and Batticaloa Districts and paddy produced in Akkaraipattu and Valaichchenai areas will be purchased initially.
The Minister said that there has been a large harvest from Wattakachchi and Ramanathapuram in the Kilinochchi district, Eravoor area in the Batticaloa district and from the Mullaitivu district.
Sri Lanka is self-sufficient in rice. However, the prolonged drought followed by the heavy rains in the rice producing areas destroyed the last year's Yala season harvest.