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PMB predicts high maha season yields better than projected

The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) said there is a better harvest from the Maha season despite the fertiliser crisis and the forecast. 

“The 2021/22 Maha season commenced while facing several challenges. However, there is a bigger harvest than we expected for the season,” PMB Vice Chairman Duminda Priyadarshana disclosed. 

 Based on the data from the Department of Agriculture over 70% of the expected harvest has been reaped thus far. He said that the national program of purchasing paddy was implemented two weeks ago and the PMB has already bought over 35,000 tons during the past two weeks. 

As per the Crop Forecast Report issued by the Department of Agriculture 800,000 hectares of land was used for farming, expecting a harvest of around 3 to 3.2 million tons of paddy. 

However, due to the introduction of organic fertiliser and farmers protested use of it and only 70 percent of crops were forecasted. 

Priyadarshana said they could expect 2.3 million tons of paddy this year, which is sufficient for six to seven months of the rice demand. It was also pointed out that the Government had informed the PMB to secure a buffer stock of paddy with the competitive prices that were announced previously.  

Accordingly, the PMB purchased Nadu paddy from farmers at guaranteed prices of Rs. 90 per kg, Samba paddy at Rs. 92 per kg and Keeri Samba paddy at Rs. 95 per kg. 

He said the mechanism had encouraged the farmers to handover their crops to the Board regardless of the various claims. “We are optimistic that there will be no possibility of an unusual price increase in rice or any shortage this year,” he added. 

Prayadarshana also stressed that a transportation fee of Rs. 2 per kilo will be provided to farmers who bring their harvest to PMB centres. During last harvesting season farmers were only given Rs. 1.50 per kilo as transport allowance. 

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