News / Asia

    Vietnam Could Become World's Biggest Rice Exporter

    Daniel Schearf
    This year, Vietnam may surpass Thailand as the world's biggest rice exporter.  For the long-term, the country is increasing its rice quality and plans to tap into the China market.

    Long ranked second in terms of rice exporters,  Vietnam is expected to export around seven million tons of rice this year. Estimates put Thailand at around 6.5 million tons.

    Nguyen Van Don, general director of rice exporter Viet Hung, says thanks to Thailand's high price guarantee for farmers, Vietnam is in the lead so far.

    "The reason is due to the program of storing and buying up rice to support the farmers of Thailand.  Now it is very difficult to compete for selling price," explained Nguyen.  "Now Vietnam is competing very tough with India and Pakistan and Burma, mostly with India."

    Higher demand

    A bad rice crop in southern China has also helped by increasing demand for Vietnam's rice. So far this year, China is the top buyer.

    "This year my company exported lots of rice to China," Nguyen said.  "In recent years China imported very little, most of it imported through unofficial ways.  This year they started importing through official channels. They bought really quickly en masse.  This year Vietnam may export more than 2 million tons to China.  It means it is now a potential market."

    Vietnam's rice is a lower quality than Thai rice and does not usually compete for the same markets.

    But officials say Thailand's drop in exports may still create opportunities.

    "It is not a big opportunity here but it is a long-term opportunity in order to help Vietnam to step by step change the structure of its rice seeds, to expand the area of high quality rice in order to meet the demands of both domestic and export markets in the next few years," said Huynh Cong Minh, deputy director of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department in Tien Giang province.

    Quality control

    Officials say about 45 percent of Tien Giang province is planted with higher quality rice but they plan to gradually increase that area and approach new markets.

    That would help Vietnam's many rice farmers and laborers.

    Rice farmer Nguyen Ngoc Phan has planted high quality rice for the last five years and says it has increased his income.

    "In recent years I plant high quality rice according to the recommendation of the state and local authorities.  If we produce the high quality rice we get the higher price," he explained. "So, I have one hectare I planted all with high quality rice."

    Vietnam's rice insiders say they would welcome being number one in exports but whether they can maintain the title depends on the weather and global demand.

    And officials say status is less of a concern than producing higher quality rice to meet the future needs of both domestic and international consumers.

    Photo Gallery

    • Laborers gather rice grains for stacking, Tien Giang, Vietnam, September 14, 2012. (D. Schearf/VOA)
    • Laborers use machines to separate grains on a rice farm, Tien Giang, Vietnam, September 14, 2012. (D. Schearf/VOA)
    • A woman carries a heavy load on her bicycle, Tien Giang, Vietnam, September 14, 2012. (D. Schearf/VOA)
    • Farm laborers spread rice grains to dry on a road, Tien Giang, Vietnam, September 14, 2012. (D. Schearf/VOA)
    • A woman stands by rice drying on a road by rice fields, Tien Giang, Vietnam, September 14, 2012. (D. Schearf/VOA)
    • A woman bicycles in Tien Giang, Vietnam, September 14, 2012. (D. Schearf/VOA)
    • Workers unload rice from a boat in Tien Giang, Vietnam, September 14, 2012. (D. Schearf/VOA)
    • Workers carry bags of rice off a conveyor belt to stak in trucks, Tien Giang, Vietnam, September 14, 2012. (D. Schearf/VOA)
    • Workers close up a truck full of rice bags, Tien Giang, Vietnam, September 14, 2012. (D. Schearf/VOA)

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Hanh Nguyen from: Viet Nam
    September 28, 2012 10:13 AM
    I'm so pround of my country. Love VIET NAM

    by: Dr. Malek Towghi (Baluch) from: USA
    September 27, 2012 12:34 AM
    "Vietnam could become world's biggest rice-exporter"

    G R E A T !

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora