|Farmers harvest spring-winter rice crop.|
The fifth Vietnam Rice Festival is underway in Vinh Long province in the Mekong Delta on January 7 – 10 as part of an effort to promote Vietnamese rice domestically and globally.
Rice is not only the key staple food in Vietnam but also provides livelihood for millions of farmers, mostly in the Mekong and the Red River deltas in the south and the north of the country.
From a rice importer over three decades ago, Vietnam has risen to the world’s top exporter. In 2020, Vietnam exported 3.07 billion USD worth of the grain, making it the second largest rice producer in the world, only after India. In the first 11 months of last year, the country shipped abroad 5.75 million tonnes of the food for 3.03 billion USD, up 0.8 percent and 7.2 percent year on year, respectively.
Vietnamese rice is now available in about 80 countries and territories, with the Asian market accounting for the largest share, followed by Africa. Its biggest buyers include the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Iraq, Indonesia, Hong Kong (China), and Senegal.
Vietnam’s ST 25 rice won the first place at the World’s Best Rice competition in 2019 and the second in 2020.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is restructuring the sector to boost productivity and foster sustainable development in a plan until 2025, with a vision towards 2030.
By 2025, Vietnam sets to have 3.6 – 3.7 million hectares of land under rice which will generate 40 – 41 million tonnes of paddy annually. The country also targets to export around 5 million tonnes of rice in the next five years./.