Sri Lankan Floods Compounds Global Rice Shortage
Rice shortage likely in the wake of Sri Lankan rains
Jan 16, 2011
THE large-scale devastation triggered by the current torrential rains in the paddy-growing districts of Sri Lanka is raising the possibility of a rice shortage coupled with food price rises.
More than 50 per cent of the Maha harvest has been lost to the rains, while at least 80 per cent of the paddy lands in the Batticaloa district and 70 per cent of such lands in the Trincomalee and Ampara districts respectively, have been destroyed by the floods, informed sources said.
Sri Lanka’s problems on the food front will be compounded by a severe shortage of rice in the world market. Only Viet Nam has an exportable rice surplus at present and the chances are that it will jack- up its rice price in these circumstances, they said. Thus, a rice shortage and rising food prices in the not too distant future cannot be ruled out.
When asked for his observations on the current flood crisis and connected problems, former director of agriculture and internationally-renowned authority on soil and water management Dr C.R. Panabokke said the government had no time to lose. Without further delay, the government should line-up programmes and strategies to address the issues which have arisen.