Country will have to spend over US$ 200 mn to import rice - Minister | Daily News

Country will have to spend over US$ 200 mn to import rice - Minister

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the amount of rice imported to the country from January to May 2022 was 338,737 metric tonnes and it had cost US$ 92 million or Rs.34,392 million.

 The Minister said importing rice began from the beginning of this year in January 2022.

“Our country has not imported rice since January of any year. Most of the rice is imported in the last quarter of the year. But for the first time since January 2022 rice was imported. Around 97 percent of this rice is imported from India,” he said addressing a group of Agriculture officials according to the Ministry Media Unit.

“But we will have to spend the same amount for the next six months as we spent US$ 95 million for six months to import rice. That means we need at least US$ 200 million to import rice.

Our country needs another 800,000 metric tonnes of rice for public consumption in the future. Even if the Yala harvest is not 100%, we should aim to get at least 50% more” the minister said.

The only solution to the food crisis is to grow any food crop in every home garden. To this end, I urge all the people of the country to cultivate the food crops we need. Otherwise, even if we have money, we will not be able to buy food in the world market. A food crisis has erupted in countries around the world, he said.

Many countries in the world do not export their food crops to other countries.

Therefore, it is said that cultivating any crop in our own backyards is beneficial to the country’s economy. We as the Agriculture Ministry look forward to your contribution in this regard,” he said.

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