Price paid for seed paddy increased by Rs 10

By Ifham Nizam

Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Department of Agriculture to buy seed paddy grown in the Yala season at Rs. 150 per kilo, which is Rs 10 above the current market price.

Currently, the price fixed by the Department of Agriculture for a kilo of seed paddy is Rs. 140. However, that price is not considered fair by farmers. The preparation of seed paddy required for cultivation in the 2022 Maha season will be done by purchasing paddy harvests from farmers who have grown seed paddy during the Yala season. Since it is necessary to prepare high quality seed paddy, officials of the Department of Agriculture have been deployed to check the seed paddy harvest.

The amount of seed paddy required for the 2022/23 season is four million bushels. The amount of seed paddy obtained by the government seed paddy farm is 10-12 percent of the total requirement. The remainder is procured by paddy farmers. The Ministry says it has received information that some farmers who cultivated seed paddy are selling their produce to traders at a higher price to be processed as rice.

The Minister said that seed paddy should not be sold to traders to prepare rice for consumption, and that there is a possibility of a shortage of seed paddy in the next Maha season, and therefore the Department of Agriculture should intervene immediately to buy seed paddy from farmers before they sell their stocks to rice millers.

The Paddy Marketing Board has made arrangements to purchase more paddy, in the Yala season. A paper has been prepared to get the approval of the Cabinet for this purpose.

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