* Sri Lanka to export indigenous rice varieties with medicinal value

Mar 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena says the government will take measures to export the indigenous rice varieties.

The indigenous rice varieties such as Heenati, Suvandel, Kachchaperumal and certain hybrid varieties are believed to have medicinal values and can heal diseases like diabetes.

The Ministry says that these rice varieties can create a new market and can afford a good price for the farmers. Therefore, the Minister says the Ministry will encourage the farmers to grow them.

There are around 2,000 indigenous rice varieties in Sri Lanka of which many have high nutritional value, medicinal properties, and the ability withstand most extreme weather conditions, diseases and pests.

Meanwhile, some agricultural experts recently warned that seeds of certain wild rice varieties are spread by unscrupulous elements in the guise of the indigenous rice varieties. They urge the farmers to be vigilant and request the agricultural authorities to take measures to destroy the wild rice varieties.

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