The Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang saw a 5-10 percent rise in the price of rice thanks to national stockpile purchases in accordance with the Prime Minister’s decision, said Nguyen Van Tham, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

Apart from the specific quota assigned to each rice-trading enterprise under the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), the province also devised incentives to encourage traders from other localities to join the movement.

Farmer Ly Van Nhanh from Vi Thanh city, whose rice was purchased immediately after the harvest, expressed his happiness over the prompt purchase saying it gave him capital to invest in his next crop.

Hau Giang’s 2014-15 Winter-Spring crops are expected to produce 560,000 tonnes of un-husked rice, 30,000 tonnes of which is scheduled to be purchased by the province.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the total output of the Mekong Delta’s Winter-Spring 2014-2015 crops are expected to reach 11.3 million tonnes of un-husked rice, equivalent to 4.3 million tonnes of commercial rice in addition to the 707,000 tonnes in the rice inventory from last year, bringing the total commercial rice stock to around 5 million tonnes.

Rice export is estimated to amount to only 1.4 million tonnes in the first four months of the year, likely resulting in falling domestic rice prices.

The Prime Minister has ordered the Mekong Delta to purchase and stockpile 1 million tonnes of rice in the winter-spring crops to help keep prices stable.

The Mekong Delta, the country’s largest rice granary, is comprised of 12 provinces and one centrally-run city with a total area of 40,000 square kilometres and a combined population of 18 million.-VNA