Corn (Maize) as animal feed
Maize production in Sri Lanka increased from 29,000 tonnes in the year 2000 to 351,000 tonnes in 2019, growing at an average annual rate of 16.73 percent. Yet the overall productivity of maize has not been adequate to meet the increasing local demand and consequently maize imports have been taking place. Approximately 98 to 99 percent of the hybrid maize seeds widely used by farmers for cultivation are imported. However, the Department of Agriculture (DoA) has already developed four local hybrids of which characters and yield parameters are comparable with imported hybrids. The use of local hybrid seeds among farmers are low, which is mainly attributed to the non-availability of local hybrid seed materials in required quantities in the local markets.
Sri Lanka has a national requirement of 600,000MT. According to reports the poultry feed requirement is around 400,000 metric tonnes, the dairy sector consumes another 200,000 metric tonnes of maize as cattle feed.
The country was importing the balance mainly from India and Ukraine. Amid all this the country has a huge armyworm infestation issue. Sri Lanka’s maize crop has been hit by fall armyworm from around 2019 and several mitigation procedures have been followed.
Sri Lanka’s egg production took a huge hit last year when farmers couldn’t feed their chicken.
Last year the government also decided allocate an additional 30,000 hectares (74000 acres) of arable lands to cultivate maize, increasing the total extent of the lands used for
maize cultivation to 110,000 hectares (270,000 acres)
Corn will be cultivated solely as an animal feed for the livestock maintained in the estate.