Mekong Delta farmers suffer rice crop failure, low price

SGGP
Farmers in provinces in the Mekong Delta have grown rice on an area of 1.6 million hectares in the summer-autumn rice crop this year. At the present, farmers in Dong Thap, Hau Giang provinces and Can Tho City start to harvest rice but they do not earn much due to poor productivity and low price.

Traders buy fresh regular paddy at VND4,300 per kilogram which is fairly low. (Photo: SGGP)

Traders buy fresh regular paddy at VND4,300 per kilogram which is fairly low. (Photo: SGGP)

Mr. Tran Van Sau, a farmer in Dong Binh Commune in Thoi Lai District in Can Tho City, said that after three months of cultivation, some households have begun to harvest the early summer-autumn rice crop. However, rice yield merely reached around 500-600 kilograms per 1,000 square meters, a decrease of 100-200 kilograms of rice per 1,000 square meters compared to the previous crop. It is worrisome that rice price at the beginning of the summer-autumn rice crop is not so high.
Fresh regular paddy was bought at VND4,200-VND4,300 per kilogram and fresh long-grain paddy was bought at VND4,500-VND4,600 per kilogram, down VND800 per kilogram upwards in comparison with the same period last year. With such prices, farmers merely gained a profit of around VND500,000-VND900,000 per 1,000 square meters.
Mekong Delta farmers suffer rice crop failure, low price ảnh 1 Farmers do not earn much due to poor rice yield and low price. (Photo: SGGP)
In Hau Giang Province, nearly 73,000 hectares of summer-autumn rice also are ready for harvest but farmers are not happy. Unfavorable weather and severe heat caused rice to grow slowly and farmers to spend higher input expenses but rice yield was not relatively high, merely at 450-550 kilogram per 1,000 square meters, a drop of nearly 200 kilogram per 1,000 square meters compared to the same rice crop last year.
In other provinces in the Mekong Delta, farmers also saw higher costs in this rice crop as hot heat forced them to increase the times to pump water into their paddy fields as well as the amount of fertilizers and plant protection drugs. Meanwhile, the highest productivity of regular rice variety only reached 500-600 kilogram per 1,000 square meters and the highest rice price was VND4,300 per kilogram. As a result, farmers merely earned a profit of VND500,000 per 1,000 square meters. Some farmers were able to break even or even suffered losses.
Rice exports drop 20 percent in value
Export of rice was also gloomy. In May this year, rice exporters shipped around 739,000 tons of rice, worth US$314 million, raising total amount of rice exported in the first five months of this year to more than 2.8 million tons, worth more than $1.2 billion, down 4 percent in volume and 20 percent in value over the same period last year.
Mekong Delta farmers suffer rice crop failure, low price ảnh 2 Export of rice in the first five months of this year has dropped by 20 percent in value. (Photo: SGGP)
Rice exporters said that, global rice market has been experencing a slump. The price of 5 percent broken rice of Thailand fluctuated at $385-$400 per ton while that of India was $365 per ton and that of Vietnam was $350 per ton.
The market is forecast to continue to be subdued because of poor demand in Asia. Meanwhile, the price of rice in the Mekong Delta will be unlikely to recover in the near future as the region is about to enter peak harvest.

By Nguyen Thanh – Translated by Thuy Doan

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