Sri Lanka paddy crop under water; quality drops and high prices likely

Mar 21, 2008 (LBO) – Torrential rains lashing Sri Lanka during an ongoing crucial harvest season is likely to lower the quality of rice but keep prices high in the domestic market, an official said. “In some districts around 50 percent of the crop has been harvested and the remaining 50 percent has to be harvested,” C. Kudagamage, Director General of the Department of Agriculture said.

“According to our field officers, around seven percent of the harvest in major paddy producing areas has been destroyed,” he said.

The reduction of the harvest is likely to prevent steep falls in prices, which were widely awaited after the ongoing so-called Maha or main paddy harvest season.

Farm gate Prices

However, crop failure due to bad weather is unlikely to have a significant impact on farmers, Kudagamage said.

“Prices are good for farmers at 32 to 35 rupees a kilo, so I don’t think crop failure will have a significant impact on farmers, but I think consumer prices will go up” he said.

“There could also be a quality drop in the yield already harvested as farmers can’t thresh the crop because of the rain,” he said.

Sri Lanka has imposed a 20 rupee tax per kil