Sharp dip in food prices

Wednesday, 7 March 2012 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Agriculture and Training Institution has said that the prices of essential food items have dropped considerably during the last week.

It said that the Divi Neguma program, fertiliser subsidy and the public sector encouragement for food production have contributed for this situation, according to the Government website

The institution said the prices of rice have decreased with the arrival of Maha season rice in the market. The price of Nuwara Eliya potatoes has decreased by about Rs. 3 a kilo due to availability of excess stocks of potatoes harvested in Nuwara Eliya and adjacent areas.

Large quantities of vegetable supplies from Nuwara Eliya, Welimada, Balangoda and Dambulla have created a glut of vegetables in the Economic Centres, significantly reducing the prices of vegetables.

Prices of coconut have come down, with large stocks being received from Puttalam, Kurunegala, Chilaw and Madampe areas. Compared to the same period last year, the price of coconut has been reduced by 37-41 per cent.

Market sources in Peliyagoda said the availability of various varieties of fish has contributed to the drop in fish prices at the Peliyagoda fish market.

Meanwhile, vegetable and fruit exporters are reported to be having discussions with State and non-governmental institutions about the export of excess vegetables and fruits.

The Ministry said a program would be launched to purchase the excess vegetables soon and that the glut had mainly resulted due to the Divi Neguma program and the fertiliser subsidy being given for vegetable cultivation.

The Ministry is also to launch a program to enlighten vegetable growers on cultivating one vegetable in each area to avoid markets getting flooded with certain varieties of vegetables.