Local authorities are in disagreement with relevant ministries on the rice stockpiling of the last winter-spring crop while relevant organs have yet to decide which organ will be in charge of stockpiling for the next summer-autumn rice crop in the Mekong Delta.
|Rice being exported from a company in Can Tho City (Photo: SGGP)|
According to reports of the Ministry of Finance, the cost price in the winter-spring crop was VND3,616 a kilogram. The difference between the cost price and purchase price was 38-46 percent.
When the Government implemented the plan to purchase one million tons of rice for stockpiling in the winter-spring crop, rice price increased by VND200 a kilogram to fetch VND5,000-5,420 a kilogram. These rates can ensure profit margin of 30 percent for farmers, according to the Ministry.
However, the price is not much high for rice growers because businesses have mainly purchased rice via traders and not directly from farmers.
Reports of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also showed some problems. The Ministry said that the quality of fragrant rice was not good due to mixed seeds caused by weak cultivation techniques in some provinces, which have begun to grow this rice variety only recently, like Kien Giang and Hau Giang.
Disagreeing with this statement, Le Van Doi, deputy director of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department in Hau Giang Province, said that farmers’ cultivation techniques have much improved and Hau Giang has produced fragrant rice for the last ten years. As a result it is not true that mixed seeds affected the rice quality.
At a conference to review rice stockpiling in the last winter-spring crop, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development presented a draft plan on rice stockpiling before submitting to the Government.
According to the draft plan, rice stockpiling will be conducted by the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) at present or by provincial people’s committees.
In case provincial authorities are unable to purchase for stockpiling, VFA will undertake this task.
Earlier, several provinces with high rice output proposed the Government permit them to stock rice themselves. However at the conference, only An Giang and Kien Giang Provinces were found still sticking to that opinion.
Tran Quang Cui, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Kien Giang Province, said that they are able to store rice themselves with five businesses listed in the top ten rice export companies in Vietnam.
|Farmers harvest rice in the Mekong Delta (Photo: SGGP)|
At present, Kien Giang Province has the highest rice output in the country with 4.3 million tons annually. The province exports about one million tons of husked rice a year but has been tasked to stockpile only 84,000 tons in the winter-spring crop.
Le Minh Duc, director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Long An Province, said that some rice stockpiling regulations are irrational. For instance, the province was tasked to stockpile 90,000 tons of rice while local business warehouses have already stocked 120,000 tons.
Rice trading plan and rice stockpiling plan should be well-defined to better effectiveness in future, said Pham Van Quynh, director of the Agriculture Department in Can Tho Province.
Rice output is expected to reach 43.49 million tons this year. The volume of rice in need of consumption is about eight millions tons exclusive of inventory of 1.85 million tons from last year.
As a result, total rice volume in need of consumption from now until the end of this year is 3.57 million tons.
Several localities have proposed the Government purchase 1.5-2 million tons for stockpiling from the summer-autumn rice crop. However, Truong Thanh Phong, chairman of VFA, said that this should be only one million.