Govt to purchase 300,000 mt paddy through PMB | Sunday Observer

Govt to purchase 300,000 mt paddy through PMB

24 January, 2021

The Government has commenced the program to purchase 300,000 metric tons of paddy from the 2021 Maha Season through the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB). The Treasury has allocated Rs.16.5 billion for the paddy purchasing program.

The Government’s paddy purchasing is successfully carried out in the Ampara and Batticaloa districts, Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

The PMB will purchase paddy from farmers at Rs.50 a kilo. At present, the production cost of a kilogram of paddy is nearly Rs. 28. Therefore, Rs. 50 per kilogram is a good price for the farmer, the Minister said.

Minister Aluthgamage said 2.8 million metric tons of paddy is expected during the 2021 Maha season and the Government through the PMB will purchase 300,000 metric tons to protect the farmer and the consumer. During the Maha season 668,400 hectares were cultivated throughout the island.

He said the PMB will purchase 1,000 kilos of paddy per hectare from every farmer who receives the fertiliser subsidy.

The Government’s paddy purchasing program is implemented islandwide under the direct supervision of the Assistant Commissioners of the Department of Agrarian Development and the Regional Managers of the PMB. Storage facilities have been set up islandwide to store the purchased paddy, he said.

The Minister said the Government will prevent any shortage of rice or a price increase by the rice mafia. Steps have been taken to hand over the money usually received by the middlemen in the purchase of paddy to the Agricultural Research Production Assistants. The PMB will also purchase paddy through other methods in areas where such officers are not available.