News / Asia

Vietnam Could Become World's Biggest Rice Exporter

Vietnam Could Become World's Biggest Rice Exporteri
|| 0:00:00
X
Daniel Schearf
September 26, 2012 2:33 PM
Vietnam this year may surpass Thailand as the world's biggest rice exporter. For the long-term Vietnam is increasing its quality of rice and planning on tapping into the China market. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Tien Giang province, Vietnam.
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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid