They say private buyers are buying the paddy at between Rs. 18 and Rs. 22 per kilo for Naadu and between Rs. 30 and Rs. 35 for Samba.
The Paddy Marketing Board so far has not made any purchases.
Some days ago, Naadu paddy was priced at between Rs. 50 and 55 per kilo.
Farmers want the state to mediate and buy, ensuring a reasonable price for their produce.
PMB’s manager for Polonnaruwa R.M.A. Ratnayake said they would start buying on March 05.
According to him, 15 million kilos would be bought from Polonnaruwa farmers.
Ratnayake said they already had a stock of 20,000 kilos.
Secretary of the rice producers association Muditha Perera said major mill owners had stocks enough for two to three years of the country’s requirement.
Association secretary Muditha Perera
The mill owners are monopolizing the rice production, forcing farmers to sell paddy at very low prices and making consumers to buy rice at high prices, he noted.