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National average rice yield hits nearly 50-year-low in Maha season amid fertiliser ban

14 November 2022 04:48 am - 4     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Sri Lanka’s national average rice yield hit a nearly 50-year-low  last ‘Maha’ season largely driven by the ill-conceived import ban on chemical fertiliser and agrochemicals.

Its aftereffects combined with skyrocketed input prices may continue to overshadow rice production throughout next year.

According to official data published by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), the average paddy yield during  2021/2022 Maha season was sharply down by  33.76 percent over the 2020/2021 Maha season.

While paddy crop was harvested in a record area of 766,000 hectares during the last Maha season, the harvest plunged to the lowest levels seen since the drought-affected 2016/17 Maha season. The paddy output was down by 37 percent to 1.93 million tonnes over the previous Maha period.

Former President Gotabaya Rajapaska in May last year imposed a ban on import of agrochemicals including chemical fertilisers and pesticides rushing to transform the country’s agricultural sector into exclusive organic agriculture (EOA). 

However, the ban was reversed in November last year amid farmer protests as the government failed to provide alternative inputs. 

Although, the Department of Agriculture recommended the use of a ratio of about 70 percent synthetic fertiliser and 30 percent organic fertiliser in an integrated fertiliser production management scheme to gain the best possible output, the DCS data showed that a mixture of fertilisers was applied on 61 percent of the paddy cultivations in the period.

  Comments - 4

  • Sudda Monday, 14 November 2022 07:54 AM

    And nobody held responsible!! What a shame! Another disastrous decision made by the previous government.

    Punchi Monday, 14 November 2022 08:34 AM

    Not to worry Sri Mao Bandaranaike said that if required she would go to the moon to get rice for us. No doubt RW will go to Mars to do the same

    Sunil Monday, 14 November 2022 10:01 AM

    What a proud achievement for goat and his equally pea-brained former minister of agriculture.

    joshua Tuesday, 15 November 2022 12:57 PM

    This is what happens when an inefficient accountant, a man with more than one brain (in this as much as seven), scarecrow like dressed former agriculture "minister" and led by an army guy runs the country without knowing what they are doing. It is a shame that none of these morons who put the people to hunger are still not behind bars. The 134 President does not care about it because he wants to secure his seat carefully. It is stinking politics that has ruined this country. Come next election these old morons will get selected again thanks to the bird-brained people.

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