Sri Lanka initiates program to introduce several rice paddy varieties to farmers that will be in demand in foreign markets, helping country earn valuable foreign exchange, government official says

SRI LANKA , April 23, 2014 () – The government has initiated a program to introduce several paddy varieties to farmers that will be in demand in the foreign markets helping the country earn valuable foreign exchange, Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said.

The minister said officials of the Mahaweli Authority and the Irrigation Department produced the BG 1165 paddy variety under the project Paddy Cultivation for Export to promote this among farmers to be cultivated for export. He added that paddy seeds were handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony in Giranduru Kotte.

The two institutions are in the process of introducing such paddy varieties which has a high demand abroad. The minister said it was a challenge for the farmers to market their crops in the international market since they have been cultivating under traditional methods targeting the local market.

De Silva said the government is implementing a program to urge farmers to cultivate paddy for foreign markets which will bring them rich dividends.

The minister said due to measures taken by the government, farmers have been able to make the country self-sufficient in rice which once seemed impossible. The government provided the fertiliser subsidy and water to farmers to encourage them to achieve this target, de Silva said.

He added that Mahaweli farmers have contributed 47 percent of the annual harvest. Published by HT Syndication with permission from Daily News Sri Lanka. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com

(c) 2014 DNSL

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