Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Ho Chi Minh City (VNA) – A revised protocol on plant quarantine for Vietnam’s rice and rice bran exports to China was announced during a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 7.

The document was signed by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine on May 30, 2016.

As supplements to the protocol signed on October 7, 2004, the document requires that rice sterilisation will be under the watch of the MARD’s Plant Protection Department instead of the China Inspection company, said head of the department Hoang Trung.

The department has asked nine rice sterilisation units and the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) to submit a list of qualified rice exporters to the MARD, which will be later sent to China for consideration.

If any violations are found, China is required to contact the Vietnamese government to seek solutions, he said.

The Chinese side also plans to make fact-finding trips to rice paddies, processing factories and warehouses in Vietnam.

VFA Secretary General Huynh Minh Hue said nearly 131 firms are currently qualified for exporting rice to China, 30-40 of them are regular suppliers, adding that the protocol will facilitate exports to China.

Pham Thai Binh, General Director of Trung An company based in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, said the signing of the protocol will help ensure transparency in rice exports to China.

China is currently Vietnam’s largest rice importer with over 30 percent market share.-VNA