Thứ Tư, 26 tháng 7, 2017

Mekong Delta authorities warn about excessive rice stock

Authorities in the Mekong Delta said farmers might face losses from excessive supply due to overproduction of Japanese rice varieties.

Farmers growing Japanese rice en mass

Thousands of hectares of Japanese rice has been grown as the rice is suitable for various types of soil and doesn't attract many pests. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has only tested and agreed to grow this rice in the Red River Delta and northern mountainous areas.

Even though the Mekong Delta authorities haven't given permission to mass cultivate this variety, it has been sowed across 43,000 hectares, mostly in Kien Luong, Hon Dat and Giang Thanh districts.

Farmer Do Le Huu in Hon Dat District said there were perks that growing traditional rice didn't have. "The output is much higher and I don't have to worry about the market as I have a contract with a distribution company," he said.

While 30,000 hectares of rice are under contract to wholesalers, another 13,000 hectares have been cultivated by the farmers. The authorities worry that the oversupply might cause a price drop as Japanese rice is still new to domestic customers.

Nguyen Van Tam, director of Kien Giang Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said, "Because more and more companies are buying Japanese rice farmers in the south have bought the seeds from the northern region to grow on their own. We’re waiting for ministerial directives."

However, according to the companies, they only buy a specific amount of rice from contracted farmers.

Bui Hung Truong, deputy head of Ethnic Affair Department, said farmers weren’t used to the new rice so there were still pests. In addition, these areas are often flooded and farmers cannot time the planting process to avoid floods yet.

The local authorities advised farmers to grow Japanese rice only under contract.

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