Farmers get high profits
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), this winter-spring rice crop in the Mekong Delta, rice output is estimated at 10.7 million tons, an increase of 144,000 tons of rice compared to the last winter-spring rice crop. Rice yield is estimated at over 7 tons per hectare, up 0.2 tons per hectare, the highest in the past five years. Currently, rice prices have slightly slid by about VND50-VND100 per kilogram, ranging from VND6,000 to VND7,500 per kilogram.
Mr. Le Thanh Tung, Deputy Director of Department of Crop Production, said that Mekong Delta farmers had a profit of over 45 percent of the selling price. While Mr. Nguyen Ngoc He, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Can Tho City, said that in the winter-spring rice crop of 2021, the rice yield of Can Tho farmers reached 7.6 tons per hectare. This is the year that the province produces rice best, with the highest yield and the profit of farmers over 50 percent.
Rice yields are high and rice prices are also at an acceptable level in the context of market difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, along with the impacts of extreme weather. The current situation is far different from that five years ago. At that time, Professor-Dr. Vo Tong Xuan recalled, farmers produced rice spontaneously. If they wanted to grow any rice variety, they would grow it. If they wanted to adopt any technology, they would use it. Farmers grew rice without knowing who would buy rice and for how much. So each farmer grew each rice variety and they used the technique they wanted. As a result, in the same rice field, there were dozens of rice varieties and dozens of farming techniques, causing the spread of pests and diseases.
Prof.-Dr. Vo Tong Xuan also said that the functional department and enterprises need to put more effort into rice production, not to leave farmers to produce rice alone, but they must be responsible for organizing production. Each product put on the market needs to be produced in the value chain, strictly comply with the GAP process that links farmers, the State, the scientists, and entrepreneurs. The core is that the consumption enterprises are associated with agricultural cooperatives. It is the basis for Vietnamese rice to continue to reach farther.
Producing rice following market demand
The reality of rice production and trading, as mentioned above, in the Mekong Delta has changed significantly in recent years. Accordingly, the ST rice lines, namely ST24 and ST25 rice varieties, which have emerged and gone like hot cakes in both domestic and export markets, are a typical example of changes of farmers in choosing good varieties for production to sell to enterprises.
According to the MARD, in the first three months of this year, enterprises had exported 1.1 million tons of rice, worth US$606 million, down 30.4 percent in volume and 17.4 percent in value, respectively, compared to the same period last year. Rice exports decreased compared to the same period last year because, from the beginning of this year, enterprises could not rent containers. Some enterprises managed to rent containers, but the number was very limited. Meanwhile, the shipping costs and rents of empty containers increased highly, affecting the import and export activities, including rice.