Vietnam shipped nearly three million tonnes of rice between January 1 and June 13, raking in over 1.3 billion USD, the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has reported.

In the January –May period, almost 2.8 million tonnes of rice worth 1.2 billion USD were sold abroad, representing a year-on-year increase of nearly 10 percent.

This included a shipment of 650,000 tonnes which earned the country for 273 million USD in May.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Mekong Delta – Vietnam’s rice production hub - is expected to yield 9.3 million tonnes of rice in this year’s summer-autumn crop.

The region is also targeting to harvest 4.6 million tonnes of husked rice, 3.1 million tones of which will be designated for trade.

Under its rice cultivation strategy, 70 percent of farmland in the region has been set aside to grow high-quality rice varieties for export.

Local farmers have begun farming disease-resistantvarieties and adopting proper technical methods such as the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system to improve productivity and cut farming costs.

VFA forecast that rice export this year can reach 7.5-7.6 million tonnes.

Last year, the country shipped a record 7.72 million tonnes of rice, earning 3.45 billion USD, based on VFA statistics.-VNA