Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has assured that the country has ample stocks of rice that can sustain the upcoming Maha cultivation season.
Hence, there is no need for rice imports, the lawmaker told a gathering of experts organized by the President’s Trade Union Relations Division at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday (Aug. 23).
The focus of the meeting was on the subject of ‘Modernization of the Agro-Industrial Sector and its Challenges’, the PMD said.
“Owing to the accomplishments of the season and the cautious supply of all three essential fertilizers coupled with financial assistance, we possess ample rice reserves to bridge the gap until the forthcoming harvest of the Maha Season.”
Despite the current drought conditions leading to the devastation of approximately 75,000 acres, the minister said provinces unaffected by this dry weather spell are experiencing notably high yields. “Consequently, there remains no necessity to resort to rice imports from other countries.”
Speaking on the recent hike in rice prices, Amaraweera said this necessitates effective management. “As the Minister of Agriculture, I perceive the rise in paddy prices as a positive development, yet it is imperative to avert any inconvenience to consumers.”
To this end, it is vital to establish an appropriate framework for regulating paddy and rice prices, Amaraweera said noting that addressing this challenge is pivotal to optimizing harvests from the country’s limited arable land.
He also highlighted the success of the previous cultivation season, attributing it to the prompt supply of all essential fertilizer types to farmers, along with financial concessions, and robust yields in regions unaffected by drought further contributing to the season’s prosperity.
Further, the minister underscored the importance of transcending political influences in the dissemination of accurate information among farmers has yielded positive outcomes.
He said the effective transmission of accurate seed paddy information to farmers stands as a crucial prerequisite for the success of all forthcoming agricultural endeavours.
“Additionally, imparting knowledge about modern technologies and their associated advantages is of paramount importance. When executed proficiently, these initiatives hold the potential to yield a surplus of rice production from our paddy fields.”
Addressing the gathering, the agriculture minister elaborated on the agricultural landscape.
He also conveyed his perspectives on the imperative of enhancing the agro-industrial domain to meet contemporary challenges.