Govt. to introduce MRP for rice in 2019

Published : 9:09 am  October 17, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (62) reads | 

Untitled-3By Sandun A Jayasekera

The government expects to introduce a Maximum Retail Price (MRP) for rice from next year, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday.


As a prelude, the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) will enter the domestic rice market for the first time this November to sell high quality rice at prices that are lower than the market price.The proposal has already been submitted to the Cost Of Living Committee of the government, he said.   


 Minister Amaraweera noted that PMB entering the domestic rice market was a departure from it’s policy of undertaking paddy purchasing alone.   


Accordingly, the PMB will market domestically produced rice under the brand name “PMB RICE’ at Rs. 10 less per kilogramme than other rice traders. The ‘PMB RICE’ would be available in 5 and 10 kilogramme bags.   
Minister Amaraweera added that the government expects a bigger paddy harvest at the next Maha and Yala season as a result of good weather conditions that exist for paddy cultivation at present and as such private traders will undoubtably attempt to purchase paddy cheap from farmers.   


“Our aim is not to earn a big profit from rice but will engage in it to help paddy farmers to sell their products at higher prices. We fix a minimum price for all paddy varieties at every season. That will help paddy farmers sell their produce above the price fixed by the PMB. If the paddy price comes further down, the PMB will purchase paddy at the fixed price,” he stressed.   


‘I had a formal discussion with private rice traders on the matter and they agreed to market their rice at Rs. 10 per kilogramme less than the current prices in the market. I believe domestic rice prices will come down sharply as a result,” Minister Amaraweera told Daily Mirror.   


Minister Amaraweera pointed out that the PMB was ready to purchase any amount of paddy from farmers at the coming Maha and Yala seasons and mill rice from paddy to the highest quality standard. The PMB cannot keep paddy for longer periods if private traders don’t purchase rice from them. Therefore, the best solution was to mill rice from paddy purchased by the Board, packet them and sell the rice in the domestic market, in particular through the CWE under the brand name “PMB RICE”.   


Another benefit from this new marketing strategy was to control the domestic rice market easily, thereby making the PMB a profit making venture. The PMB runs at a loss right now, he added.   

 

Our aim is not to earn a big profit from rice but will engage in it to help paddy farmers to sell their products at higher prices