Paddy Marketing Board is a government institution established under Parliament Act No. 14 of 1971.
Rice is the staple food in the country and is the main source of calories in the Sri Lankan diet. Therefore, paddy sector plays an important role in agricultural sector in Sri Lanka. In 2011 it has contributed 12 per cent to the agriculture sector GDP and 1.7 per cent to the total GDP. Paddy occupies the largest land area under agriculture and in the year 2011, the gross extent sown was 650,000 ha. Generally, paddy occupies about 45 per cent of the total permanent agriculture land holdings. A majority of the paddy farmers, 70 per cent, are smallholders with a land area of less than 1 ha. Paddy is cultivated during two seasons, Maha and Yala. Maha (October to March) season usually accounts for about 65 per cent of the annual production and the rest 35 per cent coming from the yala season (April to September). Two thirds of the paddy extent is grown under irrigated conditions and the paddy crop is heavily dependent on rainfall. After milling, paddy is known as rice. The average per capita consumption is about 300 grams of rice and it provides about 1,050 Kcal per day, meeting 45 per cent of the per capita protein requirement. Given the significance of the paddy sector in the Sri Lankan economy, all successive governments have placed a greater emphasis on increasing paddy production in order to achieve self-sufficiency. Therefore, a larger amount of investments were geared towards the improvement of the paddy sector.