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Ho Chi Minh City
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

PM orders ensuring food security while boosting rice exports

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The prime minister has issued a directive requesting relevant authorities to ensure national food security while the country has a better opportunity to boost rice exports to benefit from the recent spike in global rice prices.

The above request is made in Directive 24, which has been recently signed by the prime minister regarding rice export and food security.

Given the unexpected situation of global food trading, rising rice export prices due to the bans on rice exports imposed by India, Russia and UAE, there appears a phenomenon of buying rice in massive amounts in some localities, causing an imbalance between the supply and demand in some parts of the country. This leads to an unreasonable surge in domestic rice prices.

The directive requests the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to review the plan, and planting regions to ensure the fulfillment of the target of producing over 43 million tons of rice every year.

The ministry, together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and local authorities, are required to strictly follow up with the development of regional and international rice markets and balance the rice supply for local consumption and exports. The nation’s food security must be ensured in any circumstance, says the directive.

At the same time, the ministries need to speed up negotiations with foreign partners and remove technical hindrances to expand the export market. Localities, businesses, and farmers are recommended to strictly adhere to regulations on rice quality of local and international markets.

The prime minister also asked the minister of finance and the governor of the central bank to actively take measures to ensure stable prices, and support rice farmers, exporters, and traders.

“Strict sanctions will be applied to those who show signs of manipulation, illicit gains, destabilizing the local rice market,” said the prime minister.

According to a report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country has a total area of 7.1 million hectares of land for rice farming, which is expected to yield over 43 million tons, equivalent to 20 million tons of rice this year.

As of early this month, rice-growing provinces across the country have harvested over 24 million of paddy (unhusked rice). Rice output will be enough to meet local consumption and export demand, given favorable weather in the rest of the year.

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