The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has promised that it will buy all commodity rice from farmers this year regardless of gloomy export prospects.

According to VFA Chairman Nguyen Hung Linh, Vietnam ’s rice export will face more difficulties this year as China , the largest importer of Vietnamese rice that accounts for 30 percent of total exports, tightens imports via border gates and puts quotas on its companies.

He cited stiff competition from major rice exporters such as Thailand , India and Pakistan in terms of both quality and price as a big challenge in 2015.

Thailand , the world’s No. 1 rice exporter, is likely to sell out its huge volume of stockpiled rice this year, putting Vietnamese businesses under the pressure of falling rice prices, he added.

In addition, local companies have been hindered by financial difficulties, poor cultivation planning, and out-dated technology.

Linh predicted that the world rice demand is likely to rise or at least remain the same as 2014 so Vietnamese exporters should actively seek ways to win contracts and set up their firm footholds in foreign markets.

Vietnam earned nearly 2.8 billion USD from exporting more than 6.3 million tonnes of rice last year.-VNA