Rice exporters should diversify markets (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Diversifying into high-value rice markets could be a boon for Vietnamese rice exporters, experts have suggested.

Vietnam earned 2 billion USD from shipping about 4.5 million tonnes of rice abroad in the first nine months of 2017, representing year-on-year rises of 18 percent and 19.6 percent, respectively.

The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has set a rice export target of 5.7 million tonnes in 2017, up 800,000 tonnes compared to the previous year.

China accounts for 38 percent of Vietnam’s total rice exports with some 1.5 million tonnes worth more than 700 million USD.

Apart from China, the Philippines and Malaysia are strong consumers of Vietnamese rice.
 
From now to late 2017 and 2018, the VFA said the rice market will be led by demand from Malaysia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, China and Africa.

Vietnam’s rice exporters will face fierce competition from Thai rivals. Cambodia also wants to enter Vietnam’s traditional rice export markets.
In the context of climate change, the Mekong Delta – the largest granary of Vietnam, should focus on growing high-quality and high-value rice.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said “We can accept reducing the area but have to increase rice value. This requirement is urgent to improve the livelihood of farmers.”

Experts said the rice sector needs to take measures to shift to cultivation of rice with higher value and food safety.

More importantly, rice businesses should aim to produce high-quality rice using advanced technologies.-VNA