India’s release of rice stocks to the international market has blurred Sri Lanka’s hopes to export more rice to various countries at the moment, officials said today. A few weeks ago, Sri Lanka exported a stock of 250 tonnes of rice to Kenya for the first time in history. Later, the government was planning to send more stocks to different countries.
However, Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Trade S. Sirisena told the Daily Mirror yesterday that India had released two million tonnes of rice to the world market, and Sri Lanka would not be able to compete with them at all.
“We have to improve the quality of our rice to get a better price in the world market. Also, the cost of our rice is very high,” he said.
However, he said that Dubai had ordered 5000 tonnes of rice from Sri Lanka.
“We will be able to send the stock to Dubai. Also, two other countries have expressed their willingness to import rice from Sri Lanka,” he said.
Sri Lanka recorded a bumper harvest of paddy during the last Yala season. The available stocks are in excess of the country’s annual requirement. (Kelum Bandara)