Experts say that rice farmers are having a good season and winning prices, if they stop exporting rice, they will suffer losses because of the deep drop in prices.

According to Mr. Nguyen Trung Kien – Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Food Association, during a meeting with leaders of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on the afternoon of March 26, most businesses said that the amount of rice in stock as well as rice in the population is large. If exports are stopped, both businesses and farmers will face difficulties.

The association hopes the Government will soon reopen rice exports. The business side will strictly control export contracts to both ensure domestic food security and create favorable output for farmers.

GS. Vo Tong Xuan, Rector of Southern Can Tho University also said that after the General Department of Customs announced the suspension of rice exports, he and other experts sat down to recalculate Vietnam’s output in the 2019- winter-spring crop. 2020.

Accordingly, the Mekong Delta currently has more than 1.5 million hectares of rice cultivation, with an estimated yield of 5.5 million tons of rice. “The current best solution is only storing 1.5 million tons of rice, the rest for exporting 4 million tons for farmers to benefit,” Professor Xuan suggested.

Nông dân xã Thạnh An, huyện Vĩnh Thạnh, TP Cần Thơ thu hoạch lúa vụ Đông Xuân đầu tháng 3/2020. Ảnh: Thanh Trần.
Farmers in Thanh An commune, Vinh Thanh district, Can Tho city harvest winter-spring rice in early March 2020. Photo: Thanh Tran.

With an increase in orders from China, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, the price of rice purchased from people is increasing. Currently, people sell each ton of rice for 6 million VND – a profitable level. If the export is stopped, the price of rice will be forced down to about 4 million VND per ton, at which point people will suffer a loss.

“Therefore, I hope the Government should consider carefully, export in time, do not let the situation of rice rescue happen as well as avoid repeating the 2008 rice crisis. To ensure food security, the Government The government should strictly control exports and severely punish cases of speculation,” said Mr. Tong Xuan.

He also said that the food production of Vietnam is quite favorable because the rice varieties produced in the Mekong Delta are short-term, with some varieties being harvested in just 85 days. Therefore, 1.5 million tons of rice for storage until May and June is enough.

Responding to the reaction of businesses, associations and experts, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that it is taking note of the opinions of the parties to report to the Prime Minister on March 28.

A recent report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that, by March 15, rice export output reached nearly 1.3 million tons, up 26.5% and the value reached 602 million USD, an increase of 34. 6% over the same period in 2019. It is forecasted that this year’s rice export volume will be 6.5-6.7 million tons (equivalent to 13-13.4 million tons of paddy).

In addition, the Mekong Delta region is affected by drought and salinity in coastal areas, but in the last winter-spring rice harvest, most farmers won the season, and rice prices increased compared to the beginning of the season. Many experts believe that, with a decrease in global supply due to the impact of climate change, rice prices will benefit farmers.

Previously, the General Department of Customs has announced that it will stop exporting rice from 0:00 on March 24. However, the Ministry of Industry and Trade immediately requested the Government to continue exporting rice, but so far, it has not been approved.

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