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* Sri Lanka expands agriculture production of food crops to reach self-sufficiency, sets guaranteed prices
Fri, Feb 14, 2014, 08:09 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 14, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government as proposed in 2014 budget aims to expand the domestic agriculture production of essential food crops and reach self-sufficiency within the next six years.

To achieve the goal, the government is taking measures to ensure a reasonable price for agricultural produce and create an uninterrupted access to competitive markets both in Sri Lanka and abroad for value added agricultural products.

Accordingly, the cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal put forward by the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning, to introduce a guaranteed price for potatoes, big onions and dried chilies.

Sri Lanka expects to reach 50 percent self-sufficiency in potatoes, big onions and dried chillies by 2015 and to export the surplus production by 2020.

To meet those targets, the government plans to expand the area under cultivation, use high yielding seeds, utilize improved water management systems, introduce efficient farm management techniques, reduce wastage in transport and provide modem storage facilities.

Proposal to set the guaranteed producer price of one kilogram of potatoes at Rs.80, for big onions at Rs.60 and for dried chilies at Rs.350 has been approved by the Cabinet.

Moreover, the guaranteed producer price of one kilogram of seed potatoes has been set at Rs. 350 while the price for one kilogram of big onion seeds will be Rs, 12,000.

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