Over 2,000 farmers to produce 15,000 mt of maize annually Lanka to
save Rs. 3.2 b in forex
CIC Agri Businesses signed agreements last week with over 2,000
farmers in the North Central Province to produce 15,000 mt of maize
annually for the next five years which will save Rs 3.2 billion in
Currently around 150,000mt of maize is imported to supplement the
local maize production which is around 30,000 to 40,000 mt per year. The
country's annual requirement of maize is 200,000 mt.
Maize is one of the main ingredients used in the animal feed
industry. Sri Lanka needs around 500,000 mt of animal feed annually.
Maize and soya beans are the two main ingredients used to produce animal
A farmer anticipates a bountiful harvest in one of the maize
farms in Anuradhapura.
Managing Director,CEO CIC Agri Businesses Keerthi Kotagama said Sri
Lanka spends around US$ 30 million annually to import maize.
With the international market beginning to use maize for bio-fuel the
world market prices for maize are expected to increase.
"The import of maize is a huge drain on the country's foreign
exchange and the government has already taken measures to set up a task
force on maize to increase production in the next few years", he said.
CIC Agri Businesses will encourage farmers in the NCP to cultivate
maize during the forthcoming Maha season. The company has already
identified farmers and signed agreements for the project. The company
has agreed to buy a kilogram of maize at Rs. 20 from the farmers.
Director, Seed Business, CIC Agri Businesses Waruna Madawanarachchi
said with the rapid development in the poultry industry in Sri Lanka
over the last couple of years and the active involvement of the private
sector the demand for poultry feed has increased.
"With the expansion of the poultry industry the demand for maize has
grown and it has become a popular food item among consumers in the green
Immature pods are boiled and eaten and the consumption pattern is
popular among all sectors. Maize is also purchased by food producers at
a premium price to produce high nutrient food such as Thriposha. Maize
is grown in Anuradhapura, Moneragala, Badulla and Ampara which is known
as the maize belt.
The cultivation is confined to the Maha-season (September to March)
as a rainfed crop in the highlands. A smaller quantity is grown during
the Yala season.
Local maize production and quantity imported during the past four
Year Local Production Quantity Imported (Tons) (Tons)
2002 26,420 94,595
2003 29,645 136,690
2004 35,200 148,860
2005 41,800 146,930