Rice farmers’ income drops by seven times in last 10 years

Last update 12:00 | 25/03/2017

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam, the second largest rice exporter in the world, is facing big challenges. The income of farmers has dropped by seven times in the last 10 years, while exports face barriers set by import countries. 

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With the output of 4 million tons, An Giang is the biggest rice producer among 13 provinces in Mekong Delta. Despite great efforts made by the provincial authorities and farmers and new production models, rice production there is still in fragmented. And while the output is high, the quality is low.

This is the common situation of rice production in the Mekong Delta which now produces 90 percent of total rice exports of Vietnam. The problems faced by the delta could get worse with protectionism and technical barriers set by many import markets.

Vietnam, the second largest rice exporter in the world, is facing big challenges. The income of farmers has dropped by seven times in the last 10 years, while exports face barriers set by import countries. 

“Why does Cambodia still have global strong rice brands, though it began exporting rice later than Vietnam by 15 years?” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked at a recent conference discussing solutions to the sustainable development of rice production in Mekong Delta. “What are the major problems of Vietnam’s rice production? Are there embezzlement and wrongdoings in production?”

Analysts say there are two major problems. First, the problems related to administrative procedures.

Pham Thai Binh, general director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture, complained that rice exporters have to follow a lot of complicated procedures and satisfy many requirements in terms of storehouses and material growing areas to obtain licenses for rice exports.

However, the licenses are not enough. After signing export contracts, businesses will have to obtain approval from the Vietnam Food Association to get customs clearance for their exports.

Second, Vietnam now has to compete with many other rice exporters in the world market.

Bui Thi Thanh Tam, general director of Vinafood 1, said Thai exporters won the bid to provide rice to South Korea at the price of $340 per ton, while Vietnam offered higher price of $350 per ton.

“This shows that the production cost in Vietnam is very high,” Tam commented.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese farmers’ income stays low. A report showed that Vietnamese farmers earn 2.7 times lower than Thai and 1.5 times lower than Indonesian farmers. After once gaining the highest peak of VND8,000 per kilo of fresh rice, the price has decreased, now hovering around VND5,000.

PM Phuc, while emphasizing that Vietnam needs to stay firmly among the world’s leading rice exporters, said it is necessary to increase the production scale by accelerating the process of land accumulation.

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This entry was posted in Xuất khẩu nông phẩm, Đời sống nông dân and tagged , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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