Sri Lanka tightens corn imports

March 19, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has tightened rules on corn imports to arrest falling domestic farm gate prices with a record area under cultivation this year, a government minister said. For the 2008/2009 cultivation season 65,850 hectares of corn are expected to be put under the crop and 60,582 has already been planted.

The government is expecting a harvest of at least 112,000 metric tonnes in this season.

With effect from January 30, 2009 Sri Lanka had imposed a 35 percent cess tax on a kilogram of corn (maize) to discourage imports as international corm prices fell, information minister Anura Yapa told reporters Thursday.

To maintain a guaranteed price of 28 rupees, the cabinet of ministers had approved further measures devised by the office of the president.

Corn importers will now have to get a certificate from the department of agriculture on the volume of imports needed, taking into consideration local production.

An importer will have to get a certificate that a volume equal to or more than the volume sought to be imported had been purchased from the domestic market.

Corn has been brought under Sri Lanka’s import and export control act with effect fr