This year, income of rice farmers in the Mekong Delta has dropped by 50 percent compared to last year, as traders and enterprises refuse to raise prices.
Productivity in the winter-spring rice crop has also fallen by at least 20 percent due to poor quality seeds.
With less flooding this year, farmers in the Mekong Delta sowed early and are already beginning to harvest the 250,000 hectares of paddy crop, much sooner than in previous years, while traders and enterprises prepare for Tet.
Sales though are slow and businesses are taking full advantage of the situation and offering depressed prices.
As far as farmers and the local governments are concerned, Truong Thanh Phong, Chairman of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), assured purchase of all farmers’ rice stock during Tet. Phong expects exports to improve in March which may increase the price of rice.
The winter-spring crop is the main crop of the year and farmers need to make profits after failure of two earlier seasonal crops. Accordingly, the government and VFA should adopt new policies to stabilize price and secure farmers. This same issue has been raised many times in the past.