- Paddy Marketing Board to purchase major portion of 1.5 m tons of Yala paddy harvest
- Treasury to make provisions to purchase Yala harvest via Paddy Marketing Board, district secretaries, Govt. agencies
The Cabinet of Ministers this week approved the paddy purchase program targeting the Yala season.
The Paddy Marketing Board plans to purchase a significant portion of the estimated 1.5 million ton paddy harvest from this Yala season.
Accordingly, several decisions to carry out the program successfully were approved.
One decision was to purchase Nadu paddy from farmers at a guaranteed price of Rs. 50 per kg, Samba paddy at Rs. 52 per kg and Keeri Samba paddy at Rs. 55 per kg. Another was payment of Rs. 1.50 per kilo of paddy for purchase, processing and transportation of quality paddy directly from farmers in addition to the guaranteed price.
Further, an additional payment of Rs. 1.50 to the guaranteed price per kilogram of paddy to farmer organisations for processing, transportation and purchasing from farmers in remote areas.
Cabinet also decided when purchasing paddy through mill owners and farmer organisations that have drying facilities to reduce guaranteed price by Rs. 8 per kg for paddy with 14-22% moisture and to pay Rs. 2 per kg for transportation and Rs. 4 per kg for mill owners to dry and prepare such paddy stocks.
Accordingly, the Treasury will provide provisions to purchase this year’s Yala season harvest through the Paddy Marketing Board, the district secretaries and Government agencies.
The proposal tabled by Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on Monday.
Paddy production in 2020 increased by 11.5% to an all-time high of 5.1 million tons on the back of a bumper harvest in the previous year of 4.6 million tons. This was possible due to favourable weather conditions and conducive policies of the Government.
According to the Central Bank, the production in the 2019/2020 Maha season, which accounted for around 62% of total annual production, increased by 4%, while paddy output in the 2020 Yala season recorded an increase of 26.6% to 1.9 million tons.
Annual paddy production in 2020, which is equivalent to 3.3 million metric tons of rice, was estimated to be sufficient to meet the household rice demand of the country for approximately 17 months.