- Published on Tuesday, 17 April 2012 11:37
- Hits: 472
The Sri Lanka Paddy Marketing Board informed that Maha harvest paddy purchases will be recommenced from the 19th of this month. It was temporarily suspended last week due to the festival season.
The Chairman of the PMB K.B Jayasinghe said that during this season the Board was able to purchase the highest amount of paddy in the history. The quantity amounted to 75,000 metric tons. The Board has paid Rs. 2,300 million to the farmers for this paddy stock.
The purchasing of paddy in the districts of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are still being continued. Purchase of paddy in the Ampara district has almost been completed.
Meanwhile, a record harvest has been reaped from paddy lands in the North for the first time since the end of the war. Around 110,000 acres had been cultivated anticipating a harvest of 80,000 metric tons.
The Paddy Marketing Board said farmers have commenced gathering their harvest and the government is planning to purchase 10,000 metric tonnes of paddy from the North. It said that already 4,400 metric tons have been purchased from the North which is the biggest quantity since the ending of the war.
The officials said paddy purchases have already been made from seven centres in Mannar, Vavuniya, Killinochchi and Mullaithivu, adding that while paddy cultivation in Mannar during the last Maha season was confined to 23,000 acres, 40,000 acres were cultivated this time. The PMB has purchased 5,000 kgs from each farmer in the Mannar district.
They also said paddy cultivation is being carried out extensively in Murunkan, Nanattan, Alkadiveli, Vedithalthivu and Rathankulam in the Mannar district. The government has so far purchased 1.7 million kgs of paddy from these areas in the Mannar District which was once called the country's rice bowl.
During the time of LTTE terrorism, paddy cultivation was virtually abandoned in these areas where the terrorists levied a tax of 50 cents from farmers for each kilo of paddy and Re 1 per kilo on traders who came to purchase the paddy.
The Chairman of the Paddy Marketing Board also informed that attention is being focused on milling part of the paddy that has been purchased for export purposes.. He said that since sufficient stocks of rice was released to the market the price of rice during the festival season remained low. (niz+)