Cooperatives and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando says the total value of the paddy purchased by the government in the Yala harvest so far stood at around Rs.1.6 billion.
Following protests by paddy farmers in certain areas in the country, Fernando has said the government would purchase paddy at the certified prices if the farmers brought their harvest to the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) center located in their respective areas.
According to Fernando, the price of paddy is expected to increase further and the PMB is to purchase paddy only from the farmers, eliminating the middlemen.
Meanwhile, the PMB says it has purchased 60,000 metric tons of paddy during this Yala season from its centers located island wide.
PMB Chairman K.B. Jayasinghe has said the Board was still in the process of purchasing paddy in the districts.