Export of rice allowed to return to normal

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given a nod to the proposal of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to resume normalcy in rice exporting as of May 1 in an online meeting on rice exports with the leaders of 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta, large food corporations, and some relevant ministries on April 28.
According to the report by the MoIT, the rice production of this year was estimated at 43.5 million tons of paddy. Provinces in the Mekong Delta have finished harvesting 1.54 million hectares of rice with an estimated production of 10.8 million tons of paddy. After deducting the domestic demand and stockpiles, the amount of paddy that can be exported this year is around 13.54 million tons or 6.5-6.7 million tons of rice. Based on the latest figures on the domestic supply and demand of rice before entering the summer-autumn rice crop, the ministry and other ministries agreed to propose the PM to allow rice export as normal from May 1.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that this year Vietnam has planned to export 6 million tons of rice. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and drought, many countries have halted rice exports to prevent a possible shortage of food. Therefore, it is necessary for the Government to have a controlled export policy to consider the production of the winter-spring and summer-autumn rice crops.

Currently, Vietnam has basically repelled the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring the basic safety for people. The country needs to develop production and trade strongly, and even promote domestic tourism with some specific requirements. The resumption of normal activities is an urgent requirement to ensure jobs, income, and growth. The PM agreed with the proposal of the MoIT that rice export activities will return to normalcy as of May 1 and rice will only be exported through international border gates. It is essential to create favorable conditions for rice exporting in May, June, and the following months, ensuring the benefits for producers and enterprises.

The Ministry of Finance is entrusted to purchase enough rice for the national stockpile. The MoIT will cooperate with relevant ministries to frequently monitor the situation of rice production, consumption, reserve, and export. If the export of rice affects national food security, it must report to the PM to take appropriate measures. The minimum paddy reserves must be kept at 5 percent. 20 largest rice exporters must sign an agreement with at least one supermarket on ensuring the supply of the paddy reserves of 5 percent when being asked. In case that exporters do not obey, the PM allows the MoIT to revoke the certificate of eligibility for rice export business; strengthen inspection, control, and strictly punish acts of smuggling rice across the borders.

The People's Committees of provinces and cities shall direct and inspect the maintenance of the minimum paddy reserves of 5 percent of local rice exporters and take full responsibility before the PM for this matter.

Regarding pork prices, the PM ordered stronger pig repopulation, ensuring breeding pigs and animal feed, and managing well the output. The MoIT and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are in charge of importing enough pork to stabilize the price level.

By Lam Nguyen – Translated by Bao Nghi

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