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MARD to cut rice exports by 20

   5/23/2008

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development plans to gradually reduce the volume of rice exports until 2020 to ensure national food security.* Rice exports will be reduced to 4.3 million tonnes by 2015 and 3.8 million tonnes by 2020, according to Vietnam News daily. By 2010, the total yield of paddy will be raised to 37.58 million tonnes and will reach 39.63 million tonnes by 2020 to meet the food demand of the population, which is estimated to reach 98.6 million by that year. According to the ministry, 4.2 million ha of paddy now produce 36 million tonnes of rice every year. That cultivation area will be maintained to assure food demand. The decision was made to account for the growing population and the bad crops caused by natural disasters, insects and inclement weather, experts said. The Government’s strategy also includes farmland protection and research on new paddy strains and updating farming technology, Professor Bui Chi Buu, governor of Southern Agricultural Science Institute, said. Buu said new cultivation techniques would increase productivity and help farmers learn much-needed skills. Another solution to food security is to create new strains that would yield more than four million tonnes per ha. Buu said the Mekong River Delta had enough potential to increase the yield to six or seven tonnes per ha from the current 4.8 tonnes per ha. Last year, Vietnam exported 4.5 million tonnes of rice and earned 1.4 million USD. This year, the country plans to export the same amount but turnover is expected to reach 1.7 billion USD. Growing industrialisation is another concern of the Government, as farmland is shrinking to make way for new industrial parks. Farmland is being lost at an alarming rate in the southeastern and northern provinces. Buu said the Government needed to develop policies to protect valuable farmland.

MARD - VNA
5/23/2008

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