Vietnam rice yields up, Sri Lanka lags

July 7, 2011 (LBO) – Vietnam’s paddy yields rose 60 kilograms to 6,290 kilos per hectare in the ‘spring’ cultivation season with total production reaching 19.5 million tonnes, the government’s statistics office said. Yeilds in the North of the country rose 70 kilograms to 6,030 kilograms per hectare. In the Mekong Delta region in the South yields reached 6,690 kilograms a hectare, up 130 kilograms with production reaching 10.5 million tonnes.

According to Central Bank data Sri Lanka’s rice yields were 4,583 kilos per hectare in the 2010 ‘Maha’ cultivation season, and 4,444 kilos in the ‘Yala’ season. However the yield was up from 4,336 kilos a year earlier.

Vietnam is a net exporter of rice after it lifted state controls on agricultural markets.

In Sri Lanka’s farmers are given massive fertilizer subsidies and citizens’ access to alternative carbohydrates such as potatoes and wheat are blocked with high import duties to keep domestic rice prices high.

Most Sri Lankan farmers cannot produce export grade standard rice, unlike their conterparts in other countries like Pakistan.

Yeilds can be improved by boosting farmer extension services and allowing rice to be grown in areas where the agro clim