Sri Lankan maize exporters agreed to provide a minimum guaranteed price of Rs 160 per kilogram for cultivators from the next Maha season.
Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera said at least, 60,000 hectares of maize will be cultivated in the coming Maha season adding that the business community was permitted to determine the highest guaranteed price that can be offered to farmers.
“Accordingly, it was agreed to set a minimum guaranteed price of Rs 160 per kilogram of maize and to give farmers the advantage in cases of rising maize prices in the market,” he said adding that even if the price of maize in the market drops below
Rs 160, there will be no change in this guaranteed price.
While stating that the annual requirement of maize in the country is 400,000 MT, he said the annual production is between 280,000-300,000 MT adding that the rest is imported.
“But as in the last Maha season and this Yala season, urea fertiliser and herbicides were not provided for the cultivation of maize, so maize farming was disrupted,” he said adding as a result, livestock production has also been hampered due to the lack of animal feed.
He added that steps will be taken to extend the period given for the import of maize until the end of November and that due to the shortage of maize as animal feed, attention will also be given to import low quality rice and broken rice.