A State-owned company in the southernmost province of Ca Mau will purchase 100,000 tonnes of rice from farmers at market or above-market rates this year, in a bid to help them earn more income and counter market manipulation.

In the January-June period, the Ca Mau Agricultural Products and Foodstuff company (Agrimexco) bought over 29,000 tonnes of rice, nearly 30 percent of its yearly target, with 8,000 tonnes from the Mekong Delta.

Agrimexco Director Nguyen Thanh Tuan suggested the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and local authorities open more cooperatives, making it easier to step up rice purchase in other areas.

More government funding is also needed to buy necessary equipment, he said.

The official, however, also warned of intense competition from regional countries such as Thailand and India which, he said has led to a sharp fall in export rice prices.-VNA