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Rice-the staple food-General information

General Information

Present status in-brief (statistics of 2022/23)

Land use

occupies ~34% of the total cultivated area

Extent of cultivation

Maha (approx. 748,027 ha) and Yala (approx. 368,906 ha) – annual total of 1,116,933 ha

Average annual yield

3.1 million Tons (sufficient for 95% of the annual domestic requirement)


provides livelihood for 1.8 million farmer families island-wide

Cost of production

per 1 kg rice, Rs.23.17 (irrigated systems)  to  Rs. 32.38 (rain-fed systems)

Main cost factors

labour (43%), machineries (38%) and inputs (19%) (in irrigated cultivation systems)

Per capita consumption

around 107 kg / year (depends on the comparative prices of rice, bread and wheat flour)

Nutritional supplement from rice

fulfils 45% calorie and 40% protein requirement of an average Sri Lankan

Major challenges

improving productivity to maintain self sufficiency and  to feed the increasing population

improving quality of produce (physical and chemical including rice with health benefits)