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Lanka is self-sufficient in maize

Wheat flour consumption drops by 55 percent:

Master Divers Chief says ‘Stop imports’:

Sri Lanka is self-sufficient in maize production. Therefore, the importation of maize can be stopped totally from now, Chairman Master Divers Ariyaseela Wickramanayake told Daily News Business.


Ariyaseela Wickremanayake

He said that maize is not one of our traditional food items but still Sri Lanka has been able to grow maize and become self-sufficient within one year.

The total production had been used to produce Thriposha and animal food.

This is a great achievement for the country as the belief earlier was that Sri Lanka cannot produce maize.

He said that Sri Lanka imported 250,000 tons of maize for so many years up to 2007, and it was because the government imposed a tax that people started growing maize.

Similarly, Sri Lanka could be self-sufficient in sugar, fisheries products and milk products which would solve half the unemployment and foreign exchange problems in the country, he said.

Once the agricultural products start coming from the north and east areas things will improve much more and it is a matter of changing the attitude of people to be “Yes we can” like US President Barack Obama, he said.

Wickramanayake said that wheat flour consumption in Sri Lanka has dropped by 55 percent.

The total consumption of wheat flour last year was thirteen hundred thousand tons and it dropped to only three hundred thousand tons as a result of people consuming more rice with the increase of rice production. He said that Sri Lanka has the technology to use rice flour instead of wheat flour to make bakery products in the future saving a huge amount of foreign exchange while providing a large number of employment opportunities.

With regard to milk products, he said there are 1.5 million cows in the country but we collect milk only from two hundred thousand cows.

We don’t need to use imported milk powder containing palm oil if we use our resources fully, he said.

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