|Workers at Tra Vinh-based Cau Ke Food Company load packages of rice for export. Viet Nam's rice traders have purchased 1 million tonnes of the grain for reserves for the 2012-13 spring-winter crop. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam rice traders purchased tonnes grain for reserve for the 2012-13 spring-winter crop.
This meets Government requirement to help stabilise rice prices and assist farmers, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam.
The reserve helps generate profits by taking the initiative in selling rice to stop declining prices, said Tam at a seminar held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) yesterday in Ha Noi.
The Ministry reports that agencies and the Viet Nam Food Association have conducted drastic measures to implement the Government's rice policy.
To build up reserves, commercial banks have disbursed VND7.6 trillion (US$362 million), achieving 95 per cent of the targeted plan.
According to the food association, from February 20 until the end of March, domestic rice businesses completed buying 1 million tonnes of rice at an average price of between VND5,200-5,400 per kilo.
Paddy price is sold at between VND5,200-5,400 per kilo in the southern province of Bac Lieu or an increase of between VND150 to VND300 per kilo. In Ca mau Province, paddy price fetched VND5,400-5,420 per kilo, a rise of between VND150 to 170 per kilo.
Tam noted that the difference in buying price is attributed to the different conditions in provinces. Not every province managed a profit of 30 per cent.
Some provinces report that the Government policy was not strong enough to lift the buying price.
Mai Anh Tuyet, director of the Department for Industry and Trade in Mekong Delta's An Giang Province said that although rice businesses had completed their quota to buy rice for reserve, there was a large volume still held by farmers.
An Giang Province authorities have asked agencies for statistics on unsold rice so that it can ask the Government to allow businesses to continue buying.
Lam Anh Tuan, director of Thinh Phat Company Ltd, said most rice businesses faced difficulties in buying rice due to a drop in rice export prices and a huge stockpile of the grain.
He said many businesses asked to purchase rice for reserve but they then refused despite the fact that the selling price was subsidised by the Government.
Many said to avoid this situation, further co-operation was needed between the Viet Nam Food Association and People's Committee in provinces.
In addition, to provide more profit for farmers, rice for exports had to be improved to further enhance prices.
Tam said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would ask the Government to focus on how to bring more benefit to farmers and create incentives for rice export and rice consumption.—VNS