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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More