Sri Lanka Minister Rajapaksa visiting potato market
The Sri Lanka Government has decided to suspend the import of potatoes as of last night, according to the Colombo Gazette

According to the Finance Ministry, the decision was taken in order to protect local farmers.

Just last month the Finance Ministry had announced an increase on the special commodity levy on imported potatoes and big onions.

Accordingly the special commodity levy on imported potatoes has been increased to Rs. 40 per kg and big onions to Rs. 35 per kg.

State media had reported that Lanka Sathosa purchased 625,000 kg of potatoes at the government guaranteed price of Rs. 80 per kilo, directly from farmers in the Badulla district last week.

Lanka Sathosa Chairman Nalin Fernando had said that in keeping with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to protect potato farmers by giving their produce a guaranteed price, steps have been taken to purchase potatoes from local farmers at a fixed rate of Rs. 80 per kilo.

He said the government has allocated Rs.150 million to purchase potatoes from farmers in Badulla, Welimada and Uva Paranagama which are the main potato cultivating areas in Sri Lanka.