HA NOI — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) estimated a 466,000 tonne increase in this year's winter-spring rice crop compared to that of 2011 with farmers, having already harvested 20.26 million tonnes by June 15.
It said southern and central regions had completed harvesting and were busy cultivating summer-autumn crops while in the north, farmers in the rice hubs of Thai Binh and Nam Dinh provinces were still busy collecting winter-spring produce.
According to Do Hai Dien, head of the Nam Dinh Cultivation Office, local farmers have so far harvested 40 per cent of their rice crops.
With winter-spring paddy so quickly harvested, producers across the country had started planting their summer-autumn crops earlier, said Nguyen Tri Ngoc, deputy director of the MARD's Cultivation Department.
The ministry said local farmers had planted more than 3.12 million ha of summer-autumn produce with an estimated capacity of 6.5 tonnes per ha.
For this crop, some farmers have even recorded 10 tonnes per ha for their winter-spring rice.
Though the ministry praised the good result and said it would encourage farmers to expand rice areas to ensure food security and exports, low prices remain a concern.
Similar to many other rice production localities, central Quang Binh Province enjoyes a high yield of winter-spring crops, but local farmers are still worried about current low prices at about VND4.5 million (US$215) per tonne, compared to nearly VND7 million ($330) last year.
Nguyen Dai Trung from Phong Thuy Commune, Le Thuy District complained he wanted to sell his rice, but he would surely suffer losses. Farmers needed money to buy fertiliser and other facilities for the next crop.
To cope with the matter, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said to further stabilise local rice prices, ensuring farmers a profit, the MARD suggested temporarily buying and storing a million tonnes of rice. Enterprises that participate would be supported with low interest loan from July to September. — VNS