Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Minister of Agriculture says the government aims to control the rice mafia by keeping a reserve of 300,000 metric tons of paddy.
The government has allocated Rs. 23 billion to purchase paddy this season, the Minister said at a media briefing today.
He said 323 new warehouses have been renovated for paddy storage and have a storage capacity of 350,000 metric tons of paddy.
The government will provide fertilizer, water, insurance, as well as technology free of charge to the farmer. The government has taken steps to provide a guaranteed price to prevent farmers from selling rice at a low price. It is to protect the farmer and the consumer from the rice mafia, the Minister stressed.
The highest paddy harvest in history was recorded this season at 3.2 million metric tons. The government expects to produce 5 million metric tons of paddy this year. The amount of rice obtained from it is 3 million metric tons.
The annual consumption of the country is 2.5 million metric tons and a surplus of 500,000 metric tons of rice is expected this year, said Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.