Published: Friday 15 December 2006

staple switch: The Sri Lankan government is now busy promoting the country's own staple food among its people. It feels that Sri Lankans are getting used to consuming large amounts of imported wheat flour, although rice is their staple food. As a result, the country's paddy farmers cannot sell their products at reasonable prices when the harvests are good. The Ministry of Agrarian Services and Farmer Community Development has planned to open fifteen outlets for rice flour-based products within the city of Colombo and suburbs to popularise the consumption of rice flour and thereby increasing rice flour consumption by 30 per cent. Various other government agencies are also conducting research on rice flour to improve the quality of bakery products that are usually made with wheat flour. In the recent budget announcement, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, too, announced a curtail of import taxes from the machinery for productions related to rice flour.

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