Can Tho seeks link with Australia

A rice harvester is used by farmers in Can Thơ during the harvest. The city aims to become a regional pioneer in hi-tech agriculture. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong

Mekong Delta’s Can Tho City hopes to expand co-operation with overseas partners, including those from Australia, to improve production capacity, as it sets out to become a regional pioneer in hi-tech agriculture.

The statement was made by deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Truong Quang Hoai Nam on Thursday at a meeting with Rob Gordon, CEO of food producer and exporter Sunrice from Australia, during which they discussed ways to boost the city’s rice production and exports.

Can Tho lies in the heart of the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam’s largest rice basket, and exports more than half a million tonnes of rice worth US$300 million on average annually, Nam said.

The region’s rice exports were estimated at more than 400,000 tonnes in the first eight months of 2017, an increase of 3.9 per cent from the same period last year, earning $190.8 million and up 10.1 per cent year-on-year, he said.

The city aims to lead the region in hi-tech agriculture to reduce costs and enhance productivity and quality of farm produce, he said, adding that it is looking forward to fostering ties with foreign companies, particularly from Australia, to access new agricultural technologies and more markets in Europe, North America and North Asia.

On his part, Gordon said Viet Nam is capable of gaining a larger market share in these markets thanks to its competitively priced rice compared with rivals in the region, with Vietnamese rice selling for $300-400 per tonne less than rice from Thailand.

He suggested that his firm will assist Can Thơ in developing supply chains in rice farming. He also said the firm is interested in some local hi-tech agricultural projects. Nam welcomed Sunrice’s co-operation with Can Tho on the rice trade market’s development and pledged that the city’s authorities at all levels will create favourable conditions for Sunrice invest in the city.

Nam hoped that Sunrice, being one of the largest global rice distributors, will be the bridge connecting trade between Vietnamese and foreign food enterprises in the future, thereby contributing to elevating the country’s position in the world market. — VNS



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