Essential food to be sold cheaper at economic centres
Three economic centres will be set up shortly in Maradana,
Narahenpita and Ratmalana to sell essential food items at reduced
Customers can purchase rice, vegetables, dried fish, milk and milk
foods and sweets from the producers directly at their sales stalls in
these economic centres, said Trade, Marketing Development Cooperatives
and Consumer Services, Minister Bandula Gunawardena.
He said that when farm gate prices and retail prices are compared
retail prices show an unrealistic increase due to the present
distribution system of local products.
According to the present marketing system food items go through four
channels namely producer, collector, wholesale trader and retail seller
to reach the retail market.
Middle men reap exhobitant profits on food items which they buy at a
very low price from the producers, he said.
Construction work on the Narahenpita economic centre will commence by
the end of the month.
The new economic centres will provide an opportunity for a direct
meeting between the producer and the customer, he said.
He said that sales stalls will be set up under the economic centres
for rice, vegetables, milk and milk food and sweets producers. Those
stalls cannot be leased out or rented to other parties, he said.
The Trade Minister said that due to the rice price control introduced
by the government, rice is now freely available at Rs. 70 or less per
He said that white kakulu is available at the wholesale price of Rs.
57 per kilogramme and the retail price is Rs. 60 per kilogramme at Lak
Sathosa, Co-operatives and at 100 selected private sector shops.
He said that a range of food items including imported milk powder
‘Candy’, Puttalam co-op salt, rice, dried fish and canned tins of
fishball are available at Lak Sathosa and Co-operatives cheaper than the
private sector supermarkets.
The six economic centres in Dambulla, Meegoda, Veyangoda, Tabuttegama,
Nuwara Eliya and Norochcholai which were introduced by Trade Minister,
Bandula Gunawardena mainly for wholesale marketing operate successfully.