- Published on Thursday, 28 June 2012 12:44
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President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed to suspend export of rice until the harvest time of the next Maha Season. This measure has been taken to ensure a healthy domestic stock reserved and to maintain prices.
Officials of the Ministry of Finance and Planning said that this measure has been taken due to the prevailing drought which has destroyed thousands of acres of cultivated paddy lands in the North Western and North Central Province and the anticipated losses of the Yala harvest.
Currently Sri Lanka exports 15 containers of rice every week to Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Dubai.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade said that 300,000 metric tons of rice is currently in storage from the last three harvesting seasons. The Ministry said that the decision to suspend export will not affect the varieties of rice that are produced only for the international market.
According to the Ministry, the Paddy Purchasing Board and District Secretariats have bought more than 264,000 metric tons of paddy stocks countrywide. The government has spent 4.11 billion rupees to purchase the paddy stocks. Private sector and the farmers are estimated to have another 1.2 million metric tons of paddy. (niz)