Rice export continues despite pandemic and natural disasters

Tuesday, 2020-04-21 12:31:54
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Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung speaking at the meeting (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA - Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on April 20 ordered the advancing of the export quota of 100,000 tonnes of rice from that which was set for May in order to ease difficulties for firms that have rice stuck at ports but are unable to submit customs declarations.

Chairing a meeting on rice export amidst the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, along with drought and saltwater intrusion, Deputy PM Dung said glutinous rice can be exported as normal.

He assigned the Ministry of Industry and Trade to coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to review and assess the domestic supply and demand of rice to manage the export.

In the present context, rice export must be carefully considered, with national food security being taken into account first, so as to reduce disruptions in the rice production chain and to protect the legal and legitimate rights of farmers and relevant organisations, he said.

He pointed out bottlenecks in rice export management in recent times that need to be addressed, saying the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Finance and concerned agencies must bear the main responsibility for these problems.

He, therefore, asked the two ministries to monitor businesses that have rice stuck at ports but are unable to submit customs declarations.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved the resumption of rice export, on that condition that food security must be guaranteed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, drought and saltwater intrusion.

On the basis of the opinions raised at the Government’s meeting on March 31, the PM agreed in principle on the rice export plan for April.

In its report to the PM on April 6, the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed to continue the rice export but the volume must be strictly controlled on a monthly basis, firstly for April and May.

The ministry suggested that about 800,000 tonnes of rice should be allowed to be shipped abroad in April and May, down 40% from the same period last year. It also proposed 400,000 tonnes of rice for export this month.

In the last week of April, basing on the pandemic’s developments and reports by ministries and sectors, the PM will decide the shipments for May.

According to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Dang Doanh, Vietnam expects to ship abroad 6.5-6.7 million tonnes of rice this year. However, by the end of March, only 1.5 million tonnes were exported due to suspension.

Also, on April 20, PM Phuc asked the Government Inspectorate to conduct inspections over the observance of regulations on rice export management in recent times. During the inspections, rice export will continue as normal.