PM orders stepping up rice purchase

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a working session with ministries and agencies in Hanoi on February 19 to discuss the acceleration of rice purchase as a way to improve income for farmers.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting (Source: VNA)

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting (Source: VNA)

He asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to seek greater and longer-term markets.
In the near future, the Finance Ministry was required to buy sufficient rice as assigned by the State while exporters must keep a volume equivalent to at least 5 percent of their total exports in the past six months, and soon ship 200,000 tonnes of the grain to the Philippines and 100,000 tonnes to China as planned.
The leader said the State Bank should hold responsibility for hiking loan quota for rice enterprises. The Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises, the Vietnam Northern Food Corporation and the Vietnam Southern Food Corporation must pool resources to promptly buy rice for stockpiling.
He asked the MARD to hold meetings with leaders of provinces and agencies next week to promote rice purchase from farmers. Localities were assigned to monitor the process to ensure farmers’ legitimate rights.
The MARD and localities must hasten the restructuring of rice sector to deliver quality products, he said, adding that outcomes of the Mekong Delta rice conference must be reported to him to deal with existing issues.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said the country exported 6.1 million tonnes of rice last year, earning US$3 billion.
According to him, a food production plan has been built with a total area of 7.5 million ha, down 200,000ha from 2018, but the application of technology will help ensure the output of 43.5 million tonnes and export of 6-7 million tonnes this year.
Rice for export is mainly from the Mekong Delta and nearly 20 percent of the total area under the grain have been harvested.

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