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

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe 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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs