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Rice shortage during New Year predicted

Commissioner General of Agrarian Development M. A. Sunil Weerasinghe yesterday warned that there would be a severe shortage of rice in April as more than 20 per cent of paddy cultivation had been destroyed by the prevailing drought.

Around 200,000 hectares of paddy paddy fields had been saved from the drought so far but the yield from them would not be sufficient to meet the demands, he said.

Usually paddy is cultivated in around 750,000 hectares during the main cultivation season Maha, but only one third of that amount had been cultivated in the present season due to lack of water.

Weerasinghe said the Met Department had predicted the continuance of the drought situation and on that basis more destruction of remaining cultivations too could be expected and the result would be a severe shortage of rice in the month of April.
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