All paddy stores full, says minister


By Ifham Nizam

There was sufficient rice to cater for nearly eight months, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, said last week.

"Our food security was strong due to Mahinda Chinthana food policy framework of the ‘Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu’ Programme," he told a press briefing in Battaramulla.

Abeywardena said, "all paddy warehouses were full with paddy and there was more harvesting to be done. That would certainly add to the existing food stocks. We could cut down on imports on many food items," he said.

There was a stock of 40,000 metric tonnes of paddy after the Yala harvest, he said.

The consumption rate of rice, vegetables and fruits had increased while the consumption of bread had come down drastically, according to a Ministry survey.

Abeywardena also said that the Government was able to achieve a milestone though the fertilizer subsidy which was costing Rs. 40,000 million annually.

"The government would continue with the fertilizer subsidy," he assured.

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