Mon, 29 Nov 2021 Today's Paper

Government allocates 2,750 acres of Mahaweli land for commercial maize production

3 February 2021 08:50 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In an effort to promote commercial production of maize, the Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval to lease 2,750 acres of underutilised lands identified in the Rambakenoya zone coming under Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority to recognised local investors for maize cultivation.


Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa on Monday sought the approval of Cabinet of Ministers to allocate relevant plots of land under lease for a period of one-year to recognised local investors and thereafter grant those relevant plots of land to the same investors on long-term lease subject to the provisions of Crown Lands Ordinance and depending on the progress of the cultivation.The Government Information Department noted that the relevant land plots were not coming under any reserve.


The government has suspended maize imports to curb foreign exchange outflows. Further, the government has also banned maize-based ethanol and liquor production in the country.

The government has taken measures to produce approximately 250,000 metric tonnes of maize required for the production of ‘Thriposha’ and other animal feed.


Last September, the President’s Office announced plans to allocate an additional 30,000 hectares of arable lands to cultivate maize, increasing the total extent of lands used for maize cultivation to 110,000 hectares. The total land bank allocated for maize is expected to be utilised by end of 2021, meeting the entire local demand. 


According to estimates of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Sri Lanka’s maize output reached 364,000 tonnes last year, indicating 48.3 percent Year-on-Year growth, as a result of record planting, driven by the strong demand from the local feed industry and above average yields supported by favourable weather conditions.


However, FAO forecasted import requirements of maize to remain at an average level of 100, 000 tonnes this year.

 

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