There are about 800 rice mills in the country and even large scale rice mills currently produce only 75 percent of the total capacity, said the President of the Association Kusumitha Muditha Perera.
The Chairman said that the reason for this situation was the commencement of rice imports on November 15 at a time when rice imports should not have been allowed. He said that 75% of the rice sold in the market was imported from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
He pointed out that 350 million kilograms of rice had been imported in the last 90 days and out of the daily requirement of 6 million kilograms, 4 million kilograms was imported.
Disadvantageous for rice production to fall into the hands of a limited group
According to a report released by the National Audit Office, due to the rice production falling into the hands of a few it has created a huge monopoly in the market, putting consumers at a disadvantage.
The report states that the number of rice mill owners in Sri Lanka was around 2,000 in the year 2000 and that number has now dropped to 800.
The annual rice requirement in the country is around 2.4 million metric tons, which is approximately around 3.6 million metric tons of paddy.