Hybrid varieties to be
used as seed paddy
The agriculture and livestock ministry is encouraging farmers to produce new varieties of rice targeting the foreign markets.
A spokesman for the Agriculture and Livestock Misistry said that in this regard hybrid paddy varieties developed by Bathalagoda and Ambalantota agrarian research stations are to be used as seed paddy.
"The long grain white variety developed by the Bathalagoda research station is named Lanka Samurdhi, BG94-1, BG 357, BG 304, gives pleasant smell when cooking like Basmathi. Ambalantota Research Station has developed the long grain red variety of the same type".
Lanka Samurdhi introduced in 1997 is popular among farming families and local customers. Available only in a few supermarkets. This is marketed by farm company of Ridi Bendi Ela.
"The company cultivates this variety in 90 acres and markets 15,000 kilos of rice every week. This variety will be produced with new technology, and targeting foreign markets. "The agricultural department and agrarian research stations have been anxiously waiting to produced the full quota of the rice needs of the country".
He said that the dream of decades was realized last season, when the domestic rice needs of 20 lakh metric tons was surpasssed and plans are afoot to export the surplus of 2 lakh metric tons. And the Government is now targeting the potentials of foreign rice markets.
Last seasons harvest consisted of Samba and Red rice but the new Hybrid Lanka Samurdhi will now be planted in severely selected places from the next season.
"" The peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the country for some time has helped more than 110,000 hectares in the North East to come under cultivation and land areas in other places under cultivation being increased and rains coming at the correct time, has yielded a record harvest last season and has prompted to come up with hybrid varieties more suitable for the foreign markets, the spokesman added.
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