Rice production in Sri Lanka is expected to drop by 40 percent compared to last year, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warned in a joint report.
The report estimates that 686,000 MT of rice will be required to be imported as a result of the recent drought followed by heavy rain in rice-producing areas. Other crops, such as chillies and onion which rely mainly on rainwater, were also heavily damaged by the dry weather, the report said.
A total production of paddy in 2017 was estimated 2.7 million MT, a forty percent less than last year’s paddy production and a 35 percent lower than the average for the previous five years. The most severely drought-impacted districts include Kurunegala, Moneragala, Vavuniya, Mannar and Jaffna. Meanwhile, the Government has planned to import 300,000-500,000 MT of rice in view of the sharp decline in production.