“Now we have decided to get local paddy stocks to the market as well” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 26th July. Minister Bathiudeen was reviewing the latest rice market status in Colombo with his officials.
“Due to stocks from overseas suppliers, rice shortage is ending” said Minister Bathiudeen and added: “Now we have decided to get local paddy stocks to the market as well. Based on the earlier directions of President Maithripala Sirisena and Cost of Living Committee’s decision of Tuesday 25th July, the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE/ Sathosa) under our Ministry will purchase 55,000 MT paddy stock from the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) immediately. This stock will be milled by local millers and CWE’s two own mills, will then be released to Lanka Sathosa.”
Accordingly, CWE is to publish public/newspaper notice to millers this week to bid for milling of the 55,000 MT purchased from the PMB. Bulk of the stock to be milled shall be red raw rice and the rest in other varieties. If milling is completed fast, then this local rice, which is in high demand, can come to Lanka Sathosa for consumer purchase as early as first week of next month.
CWE officials revealed that in the first six months of 2017, they milled 50,000 MT rice and released to Lanka Sathosa to be sold to domestic consumers. The rice were in many varieties but the bulk of it was red raw. The stocks were milled by CWE mills as well as private sector millers.
In Sri Lanka, around 200,000 MT of rice of various types are consumed on a monthly basis.