Indian traders have started shipping 40,000 tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka after New Delhi secured a loan from Colombo.
On Saturday, two New Delhi officials told Reuters that rice had been sent to Sri Lanka. In the Indian Ocean region of about 22 million people, the country’s foreign exchange reserves have dwindled by 60 per cent, making it unable to pay the required import duties.
Sri Lanka, which is facing a severe economic crisis from emerging economies, has approached foreign charities and countries around the world to deal with the situation.
Protests have erupted across the country over fuel shortages and skyrocketing food prices.
The new shipment of 40,000 tonnes of rice by India will help bring down the price of rice in Colombo. Rice prices in the country have almost doubled in the last one year; Which has fueled protests across the country.
Pattavi Agro Foods, managing director of rice supplying rice to Sri Lanka State Trading (General) Corporation V. Krishna Rao said, “The work of loading rice has started in the southern ports.”
“Right now, only India can send rice fast,” he said.
The previous Rajapaksa family-led administration has brought Sri Lanka closer to China over the past decade.
Which India will supply to Sri Lanka in the next few months.
After Colombo banned all chemical fertilizers in 2021, Sri Lanka became one of the importers of rice. Banning chemical fertilizers has reduced rice production in the country.
In the next few weeks, Indian traders will start exporting other essential commodities like sugar and wheat to Sri Lanka, the dealer said.