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News


Rice crisis escalates

By Aisha Edris
Contrary to claims made by Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardene, traders have disclosed that there is a severe rice shortage in the market.

According to a Pettah trader, there has been a large reduction in the number of rice lorries arriving in Pettah.
“Usually we get around 30 lorries transporting rice per day but this week there were only a handful of lorries entering Pettah. We are worried that there might be a huge shortage of rice in the coming weeks,” he said.

He further noted that despite the Minister’s assurance, the mill owners were yet to release rice.
“The Minister told us that the mill owners would send rice but so far we have only received very few stocks from them. The Minister informed us that the mill owners would send their stocks tomorrow but we will have to wait and see,” he said.

The source also stated that farmers were not selling their stocks, since they were hopeful that there would be a price increase in the coming weeks.

He revealed that the mill owners were only sending white raw rice. “The mill owners are reluctant to buy rice from farmers after the government imposed the price control,” he said.

Meanwhile, All Ceylon Rice Mill Owners’ Association President Dudley Sirisena said that the farmers were refusing to sell their paddy stocks according to the government set price, which is Rs.22.
“The farmers are refusing to sell their stocks of paddy at Rs. 22 and as a result there might be a shortage of rice in the market,” he warned.

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