Sri Lanka to export 100,000 metric tonnes of rice to Dubai
Aug 30, 2012
Sri Lanka has undertaken an order from Dubai to export 100,000 metric tonnes of rice to that country and the export order would be organized after the ‘Maha’ harvest, Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Johnston Fernando said.

He told the media at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday that not only had Sri Lanka achieved self-sufficiency in rice production but we now had the opportunity to become a rice exporting country, thanks to the successful policies of the government.” We had to suspend rice exports due to the prevailing dry weather. But after the Maha season harvest we will be in a position to export rice,” Minister Fernando said.

Minister Fernando said that the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) was ready to purchase any amount of paddy and had already purchased 40,000 metric tonnes from farmers during the ‘Yala’ season. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had already allocated Rs. 2 billion to purchase paddy from the ‘Maha’ season and more funds had been pledged if necessary. Farmers who do not sell their paddy to the PMB can sell it to the private sector for a higher price. They had been provided with subsidised fertiliser, seed paddy and a dole for harvest failure by the government. “The UNP cannot sell the drought and cry on behalf of the farmers to obtain votes because the government has attended to all their grievances. Besides, the UNP has no right to cry for our farmers as during the 2002 – 2004 Ranil Wickremesinghe regime farmers and agriculture had been totally neglected,” Minister Fernando recalled.

He said the policy of the UNP government had been to stop building irrigation tanks. They closed down the PMB, imported all the food items and never supported our farmers. Therefore, the UNP has no right to request for the votes of the farmers.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka