Guaranteed price for paddy likely

The government is likely to increase the guaranteed price for paddy from the forthcoming 2018/19 Maha season.

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had submitted the facts for justifying the price increase of paddy at the recent Cost of Living Review Committee.

The ministry source said the increase will be about Rs. 2 per kilo of paddy. Samba is likely to be increased from Rs. 41 to Rs. 43 and Nadu from Rs. 38 to Rs. 40 per kilo.

The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) had kept open its 200 paddy purchasing centres in preparation to buy paddy at the existing guaranteed price; Rs. 38 per kilo of Nadu and Rs. 41 for Samba.

PMB Chairman Upali Mohotti said the government had allocated Rs. 4,900 million for Yala paddy purchasing. The PMB is targeting to buy around 120,000 metric tons of paddy island-wide. He added that the paddy harvest expected during 2018 Yala is 1,400,000 metric tons.

Except for the drought prevailing in Anuradhapura, Yala 2018 looks promising as a whole, he said. In some major paddy cultivation zones, harvesting is still pending.

“We have decided to keep our purchasing stores open till October to keep the paddy purchasing prices steady. Now the private sector paddy dealers, including millers, are engaged in purchasing paddy, for example, Samba at Rs. 52 per kilo, Keeri Samba at Rs. 65 per kilo and Nadu at Rs. 45 per kilo. When we first commenced Yala 2018 paddy purchasing in Ampara on August 4, private dealers were exploiting paddy farmers by buying Nadu at Rs. 32 and Samba for Rs. 38. After our interference, the prices had gone up beyond the guaranteed price. This is what we want to achieve for the benefit of paddy farmers,” Mohotti said.

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