The Prime Minister has approved spending an additional 480.9 billion VND (22.1 million USD) from the State budget on rice land development and protection.

The money will be allocated to nine localities across the country, which are Bac Ninh province in the north, Da Nang city, Thanh Hoa and Quang Ngai provinces in the central region and the southern provinces of Tay Ninh, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Hau Giang and Kien Giang.

In Vietnam , protecting cultivated rice land is essential as urbanisation, industrialisation and infrastructure construction reduces rice farming areas.

To develop cultivated rice land, the Government recently issued a decree on managing and using rice fields efficiently.

Vietnam ’s 2014 rice production was estimated at 28 million tonnes, equivalent to 45 million tonnes of paddy and up almost 800,000 tonnes from 2013, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The country exported 6.5 million tonnes of rice worth roughly 3 billion USD last year. Major export markets for Vietnamese rice include Singapore, mainland China, Hong Kong, Cote d'Ivoire, Algeria and Indonesia.-VNA