Mannar to be a Rice Exporting Zone
PMB purchases 2000 mt of paddy:
Nimal WIJESINGHE- Anuradhapura Additional District Group Corr
According to sources, excluding the Paddy Marketing Board,
cooperative societies and farmer organizations in the Mannar district
had been able to purchase 10.4 million metric tonnes of paddy.
The PMB at present, has been busily purchasing paddy in the Mannar
district at Nanattan and Katthankulam and so far had purchased 2,000 MT
of paddy in the area. During the current Maha season, around 40,000
acres have been cultivated with paddy in Mannar, mainly under the Yoda
Ela (giant tank) and its cascade of 160 small tanks along with the
Mannar Government Agent Sarath Ravindra said that 95% of paddy
harvesting in the Mannar district had ended and farmers have been
preparing for the Yala cultivation season. He said that the issue of
water will begin from May 1 up to August 15 concerning major tanks.
Mannar Chief Irrigation Engineer Palitha Wickramaratne, told the Daily
News that the giant tank at Murunkan was being fed by the Malwathu-Oya
and that there is 32,000 acre feet of water which had reached spilling
levels. He said that the other major tank, namely Akathimuruppu was
under rehabilitation at a cost of Rs 168 million donated by the Japan
funded PEACE project.
During the forthcoming Yala season, it is planned to cultivate 6,000
acres under the giant tank and its smaller tanks. It had been the
traditional Yala cultivation pattern in Mannar to cultivate the
landscape including the tank bed as a water management strategy for the
Yala season," the Chief Irrigation Engineer revealed. He said that as a
result of reports published in the media, specially in Lake House
publications, the PMB authorities had timely intervened to compete with
the private sector to purchase paddy.
"There is a plan being initiated for converting Mannar into a rice
exporting zone by the Economic Development Ministry, jointly with the
assistance of the Irrigation, Agriculture and Agrarian Service
departments and key private sector agricultural organizations,"