Saturday , July 13 2024

Đồng Tháp Province farmers enjoy high rice prices

Local farmers transport rice in the Mekong Delta province of Đồng Tháp. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Trí

Tố Như

HÀ NỘI — Local farmers in the Mekong Delta province of Đồng Tháp are excited as rice prices in the 2023 fall-winter crop have increased and they have a bumper crop.

Currently, the price of rice is above VNĐ9,000 (US$0.37) per kg. Previously, the price of rice was only VNĐ6,600-7,000 ($0.27-0.28) per kg.

“Perhaps, it has been a long time since farmers have had so much joy and excitement,” Tạ Văn Bông, chairman of the Board of Directors of Tân Bình Cooperative, told the Việt Nam News.

If the rice prices continue to stay high, farmers can get rich from growing rice, he said.

Bông also said that local farmers had overcome many difficulties due to heavy rains in the 2023 fall-winter crop to get a bumper crop.

“This is the highest price so far and our farmers are very happy,” he said.

According to Bông, the cooperative’s revenue growth reached 15-20 per cent in 2023. The high rice prices helped farmers to earn a profit of 35-40 per cent.

The farmers of the cooperative had applied science and technology in growing rice, and they did not use pesticides.

The cooperative’s goal was to produce safe rice following the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) Standards, aiming to produce rice with low carbon emissions.

The SRP Standard is the world’s first voluntary sustainability standard for rice. Designed to be inclusive, it incentivises farmers from smallholders to large producers to shift to adopt proven climate-smart, sustainable best agricultural practices.

He also said that by 2025, safe rice products are expected to be launched into the market, moving towards building the brand “Cù Lao Tây Agricultural Products” in the coming years because consumers are increasingly concerned about the quality of rice.

Thus, growing high-quality rice and ensuring food safety will bring benefits to both producers and consumers, he said.

The cooperative now has 220ha growing organic rice. The area is expected to expand to 300-400ha this year.

Sustainable development

Nguyễn Duy Thuận, general director of the Lộc Trời Group Joint Stock Company, said Việt Nam’s rice production value chain could rise three times higher than its current’s level.

The quantity and quality of Vietnamese rice are increasing day by day, however, there are a number of barriers that need to be overcome towards sustainable development.

The first thing needed was to boost production linkages. Production linkages help to reduce costs and stabilise supply capacity, he said.

He also added that it was an important issue because the rice sector’s scale was very large, with demand for millions of tonnes, so it was imperative to boost production linkages.

Credit can also be a barrier. Although there are currently many incentives for farmers, cooperatives, and rice production and trading enterprises, the incentives are not completely consistent with the characteristics of the rice industry.

The violation of contracts (related to rice production and consumption) was still common.

The final barrier was asynchronous mechanisation in the agricultural sector. If synchronous mechanisation was applied, losses in harvesting would be reduced.

Lê Văn Thiệt, deputy director of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the department had set a goal of developing the plant protection sector in a modern and sustainable direction.

It would expand models and develop the production of biological plant-protection drugs and organic fertilisers.

At the same time, it would also open the market, creating conditions for domestic manufacturers to export their products to the world market. — VNS

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