Workers pack rice bags at Thoại Sơn Food Co Ltd (under Lộc Trời Group). The application of measures on preventing the COVID-19 pandemic is causing inventories of rice to build up. —VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Hậu
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Food Association has proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade work with ports and localities to remove difficulties in the transportation of rice for export.
The application of measures on preventing the COVID-19 pandemic is causing inventories of rice to build up because it cannot be exported. Therefore, rice traders and export enterprises cannot continue to buy rice from farmers.
Đỗ Hà Nam, chairman of the Intimex Group's Board of Directors, said that Intimex planned to export nearly 120,000 tonnes of rice in August under signed contracts. However, its transport partner said that it could transport a maximum of only 30,000-35,000 tonnes.
Meanwhile, ports are short of workers due to the implementation of social distancing, so there are no people to load and unload goods from the truck and put bags of rice into containers.
A representative of Northern Food Corporation (Vinafood 1) said that Vinafood 1 had an inventory of up to 85 per cent of exported rice due to difficulties in transportation.
An Giang Import-Export Joint Stock Company (Angimex), a rice trader, said it was facing financial difficulties. It needed support in terms of increasing loans and reducing interest rates to purchase 30,000 tonnes of rice from farmers, even though it also had a large inventory of rice.
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên has urged the ministry’s special working team to work with the association and rice trading and export enterprises to remove these difficulties.
The association and the special working team have worked with the Tân Cảng Saigon Corporation and the Vietnam Logistics Association (VLA). Now the Tân Cảng - Cát Lái port has returned to normal operation and there is no congestion, according to the corporation’s representative. Therefore, the loading of rice is maintained at the Tân Cảng - Hiệp Phước port in Nhà Bè District, HCM City and Tân Cảng - Nhơn Trạch in Đồng Nai Province.
In addition, the wharf specialising in loading and unloading rice at Tân Cảng Cát Lái port will soon arrange workers.
The Vietnam Logistics Business Association said it would negotiate with shipping lines to reduce transport costs for import and export goods and support rice exporters at customs agencies in ports.
According to the ministry’s special working team, the ministry will focus on solving existing difficulties in production, circulation and export of rice for enterprises.
For COVID-19 testing, the team will propose to set up on-site testing points to promote the smooth transport of goods.
The association has also proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Health prioritise vaccinations for workers of rice production and transport chains.
The enterprises need financial support, including increased loan limits, extension of debt repayment terms, reduction of interest rates and quick disbursement of capital to purchase rice from farmers.
After receiving the special working team’s report, Minister Diên has submitted to the Prime Minister a proposal on facilitating access to capital to purchase paddy, rice and commodities.
Commercial banks and the State Bank’s branches in Mekong Delta provinces and cities will ensure capital for purchasing and temporary storage of paddy and rice in the Mekong Delta region. — VNS