Vietnam to reform rice production, improve exports

Rice production assembly at the Kien Giang Import and Export JSC’s factory in the southern province of Kien Giang (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam will reform rice production to gain
sustainable development in the production and export of rice, according to Vietnam’s
Rice Market Development Strategy from 2017 to 2020.

According
to the strategy for developing the country’s rice export market in the
2017–20 period with a vision to 2030, one
of the goals is to gradually reduce the rice export volume but increase the
value of exported rice.

Specifically,
the annual rice export volume is expected to reach about 4.5-5 million tonnes
in 2020, earning an average of about 2.2-2.3 billion USD per year.

From
2021 to 2030, the nation’s annual rice export volume is expected to reach about
4 million tonnes, earning 2.3 to 2.5 billion USD per year. At the same time, it
would restructure rice export products.

Exports
of fragrant rice, specialty rice and Japonica
rice will account for the largest proportion of the total volume of
exported rice at 40 percent, followed by glutinous rice and white
rice exports at 25 percent each.

Meanwhile, the
proportion of high quality, high-value, organic, highly-nutritious rice and
products made from rice will be about 10 percent.

Tran
Cong Thang, deputy director of the Institute of Policy and
Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development under the Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development, said that at present Vietnam does not
have a national plan for the development of export rice but provinces have
developed areas of producing high-quality rice products while applying high
technology for production. In addition, the nation has had geographical
indicators for rice products such as Hai Hau rice and Dien Bien rice.

Meanwhile,
many local brands have been protected including Kinh Mon glutinous rice
in Hai Duong province, Dong Trieu glutinous rice in Quang Ninh province and
aromatic rice of Soc Trang province. Many enterprises have
developed brands for their business and for their rice products.

Meeting
the market demand, in recent years, the area of growing high-quality
rice is increasing. Rice exporters are also more active in seeking ways to
penetrate high-quality rice markets as well as linking with each other to build
the rice production chain. Especially, in the Mekong Delta, there are 10 to 12
brands of rice produced by private enterprises such as Ngoc Troi and Ngoc Dong.

However,
Thang said, besides development of high-quality rice, Vietnam still needs
to develop rice products in traditional rice markets and expand the export
market to Africa.

In
addition, Vietnam and many other countries producing rice are experiencing
various problems such as salinity intrusion and climate change, so rice
production to adapt to climate change is a big challenge, he said.

The
MARD has worked with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to
develop key rice varieties for each region according to the market demand.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc
Doanh said that to implement the restructuring of the rice production industry
in Vietnam, the agricultural sector has to improve rice varieties, production
technique and infrastructure; set up appropriate mechanisation in production,
preservation and processing; and promote production chain. The sector will
identify suitable rice varieties for each export market.

He
said that initially, the sector would focus on researching high-quality rice
varieties and rice production technical package to reduce production cost,
improve rice quality, protecting the environment and ensure sustainable
agricultural reforms.

To
implement Vietnam’s Rice Market Development Strategy for the period 2017 to
2020, the MARD will review and identify rice growing areas with an advantage to
adjust production plans and convert areas with inefficient rice
production to other purposes. It will plan a schedule on adjusting production
scale and output to meet domestic and international demand and the competitive
ability of Vietnamese rice.

It
will also plan and organise production based on regions of material and regions
specialising in the production of rice, demand of specific export markets, and
orders of enterprises.

The
ministry said that in the first seven months of the year, Vietnam exported
3.3 million tonnes of rice, earning 1.5 billion USD, up 15.7 percent in volume
and 13.7 percent in value compared to the January-July period of
2016. China was still the largest export market for Vietnamese rice,
followed by the Philippines.-VNA



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