March, 28, 2014
The government entered into an agreement with farmers to provide guaranteed prices for potatoes, onions and dried chilies expecting the country to become self-sufficient in these produce by 2016 and thus retain around USD 200 million which otherwise go out of the country, Finance Ministry Deputy Secretary S.R. Attygalle told AdaderanaBiz.
This agreement guaranteeing Rs. 80 per kilo of potatoes, Rs. 60 per kilo of large onions and Rs. 350 per kilo of dried chilies to the farmers was signed between the Finance Ministry and the farmers today (28 March) at the Economic Development Ministry as a move to fulfill a proposal in the 2014 budget.
Furthermore, this agreement also guarantees Rs. 160 per kilo of seed potatoes and Rs. 12,000 per kilo of seed onions.
Finance Ministry Deputy Secretary S.R. Attygalle also told AdaderanaBiz that currently around 50 percent of the country’s requirements of potatoes, large onions and dried chilies are being imported.
Retaining the huge amount of money flowing out of the country could enable in turning the trade deficit in the country’s favor, he said.
The guaranteed prices on these three produces while aiming at such a target and it would be continued, added Mr. Attygalle.
According to the latest data of the Sri Lanka Central Bank, the country’s trade deficit was at USD 755.9 in January 2014 which is a decline of 5.9 percent.