Rice plays a key strategic part in Vietnam’s agricultural sector, said a draft plan on restructuring Vietnam’s rice production to 2020.

The country continues promoting rice exports, maintaining its position as one of the world’s leading rice exporters, it added.

The value of rice production is expected to reach 120 million VND (5,714 USD) per hectare by 2020.

In addition to its traditional markets, Vietnam is looking towards new markets such as North Africa and East Asia, whilst focusing on the domestic market.

To realise the goals, the sector will use high-yield, high-quality crop varieties to supply its export markets, Deputy Director of the Department of Cultivation, Pham Dong Quang, told a recent conference on cultivation restructuring in Hanoi.

The Mekong Delta, the country’s biggest rice producer, will focus on export-oriented cultivation, while the Red River Delta is geared towards the domestic market, he added.

Additionally, Vietnam will maintain the cultivation of rice crops on approximately 7 million hectares by 2020 with the application of advanced production models such as VietGap, SRI.

According to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), Vietnam exported over 3.6 million tonnes of rice for a free-on-board value of over 1.56 billion USD in the first seven months of this year.

As planned, rice exporters nationwide are working to ship 6.2-6.5 million tonnes of the grain this year.-VNA