The sun had spread its golden aura all over the sky. The birds chirped, cawed, and tweeted in harmony. They were ushering in a cozy night. Verum sat by the window, absorbing the scene.
“Verum,” approached Orak, “Could I ask you a question?”
Verum turned towards her friend and smiled, “Of course!”
“I read a few news reports that claimed Sri Lanka was facing a food shortage. Is this true?” said Orak.
“Let me check with my crystal ball,” said Verum, “We’ll soon find out what’s happening in the tear-drop-shaped Asian nation.”
A few minutes later, she continued, “You’re right. News reports from last week did claim that Sri Lanka was facing a severe food shortage. But on Thursday, the Sri Lankan government said the reports were false.”
“What’s the issue then?” said Felix.
“According to the government, certain traders were hoarding essentials like paddy, rice, and sugar. Hoarding is when traders secretly stock commodities for future use,” said Verum.
Scorch donned her BizzO’Clock hat and said, “When such important items are hoarded, it creates a shortage in the market. This causes their prices to rise.”
“You’re right, Scorch,” said Verum, “President Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued emergency measures to control this situation. The government aims to seize the hoarded items and redistribute them at reasonable prices.”
Verum added, “Despite the government’s statement, it is true that Sri Lanka is facing difficult times. The island country majorly depends on tourism to earn money. During the pandemic, the tourism industry has been affected. This is a problem for Sri Lanka.”
“Oh, I see,” said Scorch.
“Along with this, Sri Lanka is also facing an economic crisis. Due to this crisis, the country had to pause imports of various items like cars, edible oil, and turmeric in March 2020,” said Verum, “Now, it’s struggling to import necessities like medicines and vaccines.”
She added, “And Sri Lanka is striving to be the world’s first 100% organic food producer. But this is expected to negatively affect its tea production. And tea is Sri Lanka’s biggest single export.”
“It’s a tough situation for Sri Lanka,” said Orak.