Farmers in the Mekong Delta are a worried lot as rice prices continue to drop with demand for rice having dropped substantially, even though there was a bumper crop this winter-spring season.
|Rice consumption is reported very sluggish. (Photo: Thuy Doan)|
Rice farmers are concerned as price of low-quality IR50404 variety is now VND4,000-4,200 per kilogram for fresh paddy, and VND5,000-5,200 per kilogram for dried paddy. Price of dried paddy even fell to VND4,800-4,900 per kilogram in some places.
Meanwhile, long-grained rice sold for VND5,400-5,500 per kilogram and dried high-quality rice for VND6,300-6,400 per kilogram.
Rice consumption was reported very sluggish. Concerns increased as traders rejected low-quality IR50404 variety paddy. Farmers are worried that prices will continue to drop, even as they prepare for the next crop.
Nguyen Van Buong, Deputy Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Hong Ngu District of Dong Thap Province, said that farmers in the district have already harvested more than 2,000 hectares of the 11,000 hectares of winter-spring crop, expected to yield about 7.4-7.5 tonnes per hectare, up 600 kilogram per hectare from the previous season. However, a decline in prices is a predicament for the farmers at this time.
According to Dr. Le Van Banh, Director of the Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute, farmers need to sell off their rice crop immediately, to pay off debts and prepare for the next season. Hence, at this point of time, the government must buy up farmers’ stocks, for temporary stockpiling, so as to assist them in cultivating the next crop.