Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked the State Bank to consider increasing credit quota to farming households, and work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to improve farmers’ access to capital.

The Government official made the request at a June 8 conference in Hanoi to seek solutions to difficulties facing the rice production, animal husbandry and fishery sectors.

He said financial assistance is necessary to help farmers, including those involved in animal husbandry, to maintain production.

Deputy PM Hai also told relevant ministries and sectors to seriously implement the Prime Minister’s decision on purchasing 1 million tonnes of rice for stockpiling, which aims at stimulating demands on the market and ensuring profits for rice farmers.

Representatives from trade organisations urged the Government to soon take measures to remove obstacles to investment, production and consumption, particularly financial measures to help farmers and businesses maintain production. They proposed higher credit quota for farmers in the Mekong Delta, and freezing or scheduling debts to allow farmers and businesses to re-invest. They also expressed hope that relevant organisations accelerate trade promotion activities to help boost sales.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, weakening demands and the downward trend in price are affecting rice exports of all major rice export countries. In the January-May period, Vietnam exported 2.79 million tonnes of rice, up 1.14 percent in volume. However, by May 31, the total rice inventories of all businesses amounted to 1.7 million tones, which put pressures on the domestic rice price.

The ministry also reported that animal husbandry has scaled down due to concerns of both breeders and consumers about diseases. At the same time, lower purchasing power as a result of the economic crisis and rising input costs have eaten into farmers’ profits. Difficult access to capital plus high interest rate is posing more problems to this sector.

The situation is the same in the fishery sector. The export of aquatic products also met with difficulties such as technical barriers in developed markets.-VNA