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PM urges relevant bodies to improve rice trade

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has issued a directive to relevant ministries and agencies, emphasizing the need to improve rice trade in terms of quality and quantity.

In an official dispatch, PM Chinh pointed out the impact of global economic uncertainties on food production and export, including rice, during the early months of this year.

Vietnam’s rice exports in the first half of the year grew robustly, with a 22.2% increase in volume and a 34.7% increase in value compared to the same period last year. The country exported 4.27 million tons of rice worth US$2.3 billion.

Despite these positive results, the rice export sector is still grappling with challenges. Unsuitable long-term market strategies, intense competition with other rice-exporting nations, and rising input costs are among the impediments.

To further enhance rice production and export, the prime minister has instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work with relevant ministries, agencies, and local authorities to refine policies. The objective is to build a strong Vietnamese rice brand in the global market by creating favorable conditions for research and development of high-yield, high-quality rice varieties that meet market demand.

The ministry will focus on developing post-harvest infrastructure, including storage facilities, and prioritizing investments in high-value rice varieties that have already gained a strong brand reputation. They are also tasked with accelerating digital transformation and adoption of scientific advancements and technology in rice production.

This approach aims to reduce dependence on fertilizers and plant protection chemicals, which can affect rice quality, while increasing productivity, improving rice quality, and raising export prices.

In addition, the ministry will work on policies to encourage and support the development of rice production zones, strengthen the connection between production and consumption, and engage in bilateral and multilateral negotiations to sign agreements with key export markets.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is told to work with other relevant ministries, agencies, and local authorities to diversify and sustain rice export markets. They will also organize trade promotions to maintain and strengthen existing markets, explore new markets, and finalize draft decrees related to rice exports in the third quarter.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in charge of gathering market intelligence, intensifying promotion of the Vietnamese rice brand, and expediting the signing of agreements and commitments on mutual recognition of phytosanitary, product quality, and food safety standards.

Furthermore, provincial authorities have been assigned to do the rice production planning and improve rice quality to meet both domestic and export market demands.

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