The global sustainable rice production criteria are to be applied in the Mekong Delta (Photo: VNA)

An Giang (VNA) – The global sustainable rice production criteria are to be applied in Vietnam for the first time, in large-scale fields in the Mekong Delta, which it is hoped to smooth the path for local rice to make its way to choosy markets.

The 46 criteria were launched by the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) – an initiative of the United Nations Environmental Programme, said Huynh Van Thon – Chairman of the Board of Directors of Loc Troi Group – at a workshop in An Giang province on January 25.

He noted the SRP’s members are the world’s leading agriculture groups, international quality recognising organisations, agriculture ministries of the top rice farming countries, and rice trading businesses.

When satisfying the 46 SRP standards, Vietnamese rice with its own brand will be able to enter the biggest and most demanding markets in the world, he added.

SRP Chairman James Lomax said this is an opportunity to provide sustainable income for farmers, protect the environment and ensure food security. He expressed his belief that local farmers are capable of applying those requirements well.

Rice cultivation of the Loc Troi Group will follow the 46 standards, which relate to rice field and nutrition management, farming preparations, water use, pest and disease control, harvest and post-harvest, health and safety, and labour rights.

The SRP requirements ensure productivity and cost price while controlling the use of pesticides and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They also ensure food safety and workers’ health, as well as women’s rights and prohibit child labour.

The Loc Troi Group is a big Vietnamese rice processor with five factories processing 1 million tonnes of rice per year in the Mekong Delta – the rice hub of Vietnam.-VNA