PM approves rice export resumption, orders guaranteed food security hinh anh 1Rice bags are loaded onto a vessel for export at Cua Lo Port in the central province of Nghe An (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the resumption of rice export provided that food security must be guaranteed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, drought and saltwater intrusion.

Basing on the opinions raised at the Government’s meeting on March 31, the PM agreed in principle on the rice export plan for April proposed by the Minister of Industry and Trade.

He assigned the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development and relevant agencies to carry out this plan and ensure that the export will not affect the national food security.

He told them not to let rice shortages happen in any circumstance, especially in the context of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, while minimising disruptions to the rice production chain and protecting the legitimate interests of farmers and related businesses.

The PM ordered the MoIT to work with the relevant ministries to report on the rice export in April and propose the export plan for May to him before April 25. Additionally, they also have to build plans for steering the domestic rice market and export in case the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on, even until the end of 2020.

In its report submitted to the PM on April 6, the MoIT proposed rice export continue but the shipment volume be strictly controlled by each month, firstly April and May.

The ministry suggested that about 800,000 tonnes of rice should be allowed to be shipped abroad in April and May, down 40 percent from the same period last year. It proposed 400,000 tonnes of rice for export this month.

In the last week of April, basing on the pandemic’s developments and reports by ministries and sectors, the PM will decide the shipments for May./.