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June 2024
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Vietnam eyes golden opportunities for rice exports

Amid the world facing a shortage of seven million tonnes of rice, the nation has seized a “golden” opportunity to increase exports, according to industry insiders.

With regard to the country’s potential to export rice this year, Nguyen Nhu Cuong, director of the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that although the world has a high demand for rice, Vietnam is unable to increase its rice cultivation area.

Cuong underlined the need to increase the overall production area, adjust crops to reap good yields, and harvest at a time when countries globally are facing a scarcity of rice, thereby increasing rice product value.

This year has seen the Vietnamese rice cultivation area stands at about 7.1 million hectares and is expected to meet the export demand of more than 7.5 million tonnes if there are no weather abnormalities, natural disasters, and epidemics, he said.

The country has been proactively producing and exporting rice according to the global demand but the Vietnamese rice industry is  required to ensure domestic food security, Cuong added.

Cuong stressed that the Department of Crop Production needs to grasp market information, particularly relating to the global and domestic demand for rice as a way of adjusting the proper crop schedule in order to ensure the best supply source of Vietnamese rice.

Moreover, he underlined the need to take drastic solutions aimed at minimising production costs and damages caused by climate change.

The Department is also required to co-ordinate efforts alongside relevant agencies and local authorities to reorganise production activities and to strengthen linkages among businesses, cooperatives, and farmers.

In addition,  the Northern Food Corporation and the Southern Food Corporation, along with rice export traders, are requested to maintain food reserves and purchases in line with the State regulations to ensure national food security.

In relation to the goal of promoting rice exports and avoiding domestic food shortage crisis, Professor. Vo Tong Xuan said that people are advised to not worry about the shortage of food as the management agencies have already learnt about domestic demand to request for storage.

Furthermore, a new harvest season will begin in the next 3.5 months, meaning there are no widespread concerns over the shortage of rice, even though the country increases rice exports moving forward, Prof. Xuan added.

Despite positive signs about Vietnamese rice export potential, experts pointed out that the rice industry is facing a number of challenges, including salinity intrusion in the Mekong Delta.

Therefore, Vietnam must ensure a quality and safe rice growing process according to the standards set by importing countries.

Pham Thai Binh, chairman of the Board of Directors of Trung An High-Tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company, said Vietnam has huge potential for rice production, adding that local firms are duly advised to seize upon these opportunities to increase exports.

It is essential to strengthen connectivity among businesses and farmers, develop sustainably by reorganising the rice production value chain, while also paying greater attention to the quality to both meet the export market and enhance the brand and value of Vietnamese rice, Binh added.

VOV

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Published Date: June 2, 2024

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