By June 15, the Mekong Delta had sold 42,000 tonnes of rice abroad, bringing Vietnam’s total export of the grain so far this year to 2.5 million tonnes and earning nearly 1 billion USD, an equivalent to the same period last year.

Asia was the largest consumer of the rice, accounting for 78 percent of the volume, a year-on-year increase of 5.2 percent. The remainder was shipped to Europe, America, Africa, Oceania and the Middle East.

Deputy head of the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region Nguyen Phong Quang said the increase has been prompted by regional localities further promoting and seeking new markets in Asia and the Middle East.

In addition to upgrading facilities for production, transport and storage of rice, the provinces applied farming models in line with the standards of the Vietnam Good Agricultural Practice (VietGap) and the Global Good Agricultural Practice (GlobalGAP) to improve the competitiveness of their products.

They have also encouraged businesses to sign purchasing contracts with farmers, ensuring sufficient rice for export.

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

From now to 2030, the region is growing rice across an area of 1.8 million ha, more than half of which is for export. It is also striving to maintain an annual output of 24-25 million tonnes of rice.-VNA