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Banks to Back Rice Production

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has directed ministries, sectors, food corporations and the Viet Nam Food Association to develop support for this year\'s domestic rice production and export activities.

According to the Prime Minister's official letter No 221/TTg-KTTH, State commercial banks must meet loan requests that will help with the purchase of rice for domestic consumption and exports.

The Ministry of Finance must work with the People's Committee in provinces and the Viet Nam Food Association to set up an information system with updated information about production costs, farmer's selling prices and export prices for rice.

"The move will help with the management of rice production and consumption to ensure the interest of farmers and to stabilise the price of rice on the domestic market," Dung said.

Ministry of Industry and Trade and the inter-ministerial rice export management team would instruct State food corporations to enhance transactions and sign large-volume rice export contracts to effectively use the winter-spring and summer-autumn rice crops this year, he said.

They should boost trade promotion activities and development of the rice export market, and keep an eye on how the domestic and international rice markets develop.

Meanwhile, the VFA must intensify its efforts to seek new export markets and customers for 2010 and 2011, he said. The association must also work with relevant offices to deliver sufficient export products according to set schedules and to stabilise prices for services related to rice export activities.

Provincial People's Committees are responsible for supporting local enterprises in the purchase and distribution of rice by co-ordinating the duties of the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Industry and Trade and Finance with the management team and the VFA. This co-ordination effort will also help control the export price for rice, improve export rice quality, and help supply agricultural materials.

Truong Thanh Phong, VFA chairman, said Viet Nam rice exports in 2010 would face many difficulties, making it hard to forecast the final numbers.

To meet the Government's requirement of ensuring farmers' interests, the VFA planned to set up an investment fund this year to improve the quality of rice and guarantee income for the farmers, Phong said.


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