Rice consumption remains stagnant

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, farmers in Mekong Delta provinces grew rice on an area of 1.6 million hectares this winter-spring rice crop with total yield of about 11 million tons, of which 3.64 million tons of rice are for domestic consumption and the remaining 7.4 million tons of rice are for export.

Farmers harvest paddy in the Mekong Delta provinces. (Photo: SGGP)

Farmers harvest paddy in the Mekong Delta provinces. (Photo: SGGP)

There have been more traders and firms buying paddy after the Prime Minister’s instruction to buy paddy for temporary stockpile and the meeting to boost consumption of paddy among the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Industry and Trade, the State Bank of Vietnam and leaders of provinces in the Mekong Delta was held in Dong Thap Province. However, concern lingers as paddy prices remain extremely low.
According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of An Giang Province, the price of paddy stood still on February 28. Particularly, the price of fresh IR50404 rice variety bought at the field was at VND4,500-VND4,600 per kilogram and that of Jasmine variety was at VND5,100 per kilogram.
Currently, there were some traders buying paddy along Xa No Canal at a price of VND4,800-VND5,200 per kilogram for high-quality rice varieties. However, farmers in remote area found it difficult to sell paddy as there was no traders going there, said Mr. Nguyen Van Ut, a farmers in Vi Thuy District in Hau Giang Province.
Meanwhile, some traders in Vinh Long Province have bought paddy and already paid farmers but asked farmers to store paddy for them.
The current price levels of high-quality rice varieties swing from VND4,800 to VND5,200 per kilogram, nearly VND1,000 per kilogram lower than last year. Meanwhile, low-quality IR50404 rice variety fetches VND4,300-VND4,600 per kilogram. The remaining area of low-quality paddy is around 26 percent of total paddy area whereas that of high-quality accounts for up to 60 percent.
As farmers grow rice massively after flood water recede, the peak harvest of winter-spring rice crop usually occurs in February and March. Farmers in remote area are longing firms to speed up buying of paddy for them to grow the summer-autumn rice crop on time.

By Cao Phong – Translated by Thuy Doan

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