Sri Lanka Achieves Rice Self-Sufficiency in 2024: Agriculture Minister

Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries Mahinda Amaraweera announced that the country has achieved self-sufficiency in rice production in 2024. “This milestone means Sri Lanka will not be importing rice this year,” the Minister said, addressing a media briefing at the Presidential Media Centre.

He said the achievement was due to tireless efforts of Sri Lanka’s paddy farmers, backed by impactful government initiatives aimed at bolstering domestic rice production. The country’s newfound self-reliance in rice is not just a win for food security but also marks a pivotal step in reducing dependence on foreign imports and strengthening the agricultural backbone of the nation, the Minister said.

A critical component of government initiatives to bolster food production was the allocation of substantial financial resources for fertilizer subsidies. In the Yala and Maha seasons, the government earmarked Rs. 22 billion to ensure that farmers had easy access to affordable fertilizers. Additionally, a commitment of Rs. 13 billion was made to directly purchase paddy from farmers, offering them a stable income and market assurance.

This strategic approach has borne fruit, as evident from the contrast with 2022, when Sri Lanka imported 08 metric tons of rice. Achieving self-sufficiency in 2023, the country has been able to rely entirely on rice produced by its own farmers. This accomplishment is particularly remarkable given the economic challenges faced and underscores the resilience and effectiveness of the government’s agricultural development strategies.