In Sri Lanka, the rupee cost of imports and exports (traded goods) rose after the currency devalued in the first quarter of 2012.
Minister Abeywardene said based on the state-guaranteed price for paddy farmer and milling costs, it cost about 50 rupees a kilogram to produce rice in Sri Lanka.But the Vietnam was exporting rice at between 30 to 40 cents a kilogram and Sri Lanka had to export around the same price incurring a loss.
"We were not concerned about the price earlier," he said. "Now we have to pay attention to price."
He said Sri Lanka did not produce the types of rice demanded in international markets, but South Africa consumed the red broken kernel quality that Sri Lanka produced.
At the moment Sri Lanka exported between 10,000 to 12,000 tonnes of rice a year, mainly to expatriate Sri Lankan in the Middle East and elsewhere who consumer Sri Lankan rice.
He said rice farmers would continue to receive fertilizer subsidies. Sri Lankan tax payers spend about 250 million dollar a year on fertiliser subsidies.