High Prices Benefit Viet Nam’s Rice Growers

Vietnamese rice fetches just as much as rice from Thailand these days, according to Mr. Truong Thanh Phong, general director of the Southern Food Corporation.

Farmers collect rice after crop

Despite the higher price, Viet Nam has already struck deals to export four million tons of rice in 2008, Mr. Phong told a recent meeting held in Ho Chi Minh City to discuss the next rice crop.

In the nine months ending September 30, Viet Nam shipped 3.7 million tons of rice abroad at prices matching and sometimes exceeding Thailand’s, he said.

The higher prices have been a boon for farmers in the Mekong Delta and given them an income boost of VND2,100 billion (US$140,000).

Mr. Phong credited the higher prices to a shortfall in rice from other major exporters like India, Thailand and Indonesia.

In addition, many wheat-growing countries have had a poor crop this year because of drought and other problems, causing a general food shortage and pushing up grain prices across the board.

Because of this, Mr. Phong believes grain prices will stay high for at least a few years.

Thanks to the already signed orders, Vietnamese farmers can make a lot of money from rice export next year. The most important thing they must do is to choose the right seeds to plant.

By Cong Phien – Translated by Xuan Huong

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