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Reading: Was the 2002/03 Maha's Bumper Paddy Harvest due to El Nino?


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Section II

Was the 2002/03 Maha's Bumper Paddy Harvest due to El Nino?


Lareef Zubair,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About Lareef

Senior Lecturer in Engineering

PhD (Yale University), AMIE (SL)

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Ruvini Perera,

TAMS Consultants, US
About Ruvini

Civil and Environmental Engineer

BSc., MS (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

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Zeenas Yahiya

Institute of Fundamental Studies, LK
About Zeenas

Scientific Documentation

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During the last six decades, Sri Lankan paddy production has systematically increased due to improved technology and enhanced cultivation. Along with this trend, there is also a year-to-year variation in harvest primarily due to rainfall variations. An analysis of these variations shows that during the global El Nino climatic episodes, the odds are that Yala harvest decreases and Maha harvest increases. During El Nino episodes, there is usually an increase in the rainfall from October to December which is the planting phase of the Maha season leading usually to an increase in paddy production. The 2002/ 2003 Maha was during an El Nino season and heavy rains fell during this period and it is likely that 2002/2003 bumper Maha crop was influenced by the El Nino event. Since the rise in paddy production was likely due to a climatic anomaly, it would be unwise to change agricultural policy to discourage paddy cultivation.
Keywords: Paddy harvest
How to Cite: Zubair, L., Perera, R. and Yahiya, Z., 2005. Was the 2002/03 Maha's Bumper Paddy Harvest due to El Nino?. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, 38(4), pp.63–70. DOI:
Published on 22 Oct 2005.
Peer Reviewed


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