Rice imports fell 34.4 percent to 23.5 million US dollars in February 2018 from a year earlier, as harvest came in and domestic prices eased, official data showed. Sri Lanka’s rice imports surged from the second quarter of 2017 as the government cut import duties when a drought slashed the industry.
In 2017 Sri Lanka imported 300.9 million US dollars of rice, up from just 12.8 million dollars a year ago.However Sri Lanka had a better main cultivation season where harvests started to come around in the first quarter.
Sri Lanka also cut taxes on potatoes and onion as prices went up. Taxes on onions and potatoes have already been raised. Sri Lanka’s rice, onion and potato farmers cannot produce goods at the quality or price demanded in international markets due to years of protection and cannot export competing with Indian, Pakistani or East Asian farmers. However in recent years, rice yields have gone up, partly helped by with fertilizer subsidies.
(Government News Portal)