Rice bowl of the region

With a humid tropical to temperate climate and two monsoons annually, Vietnam’s Red River Delta in the north and the Mekong River Delta in the south are the main rice growing regions. Vietnam is one of the world’s richest agricultural regions; and one of the largest exporter worldwide (along with India and Thailand) and the world’s seventh-largest consumer of rice. Within the delta system dominated by rice, the farming system also includes aquaculture, rearing of animals, cash crops and fruit trees. Under aquaculture, fresh and saline water shrimp are raised within the paddy fields. In 2019, Vietnam’s rice exports were estimated at 6-7 million tons worth around US$3.1 BN, according to the country’s ministry of agriculture and rural development. Other produce include coffee, rubber, cotton, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugarcane, peanuts, bananas, fish, seafood, and poultry. Despite Covid challenges, Vietnam rice exports were US$3 B in 2020 and US$3.27 B in 2021, according to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA). The rice sector is expected to continue its growth trajectory when new free trade agreements (FTAs) with the UK and Europe are signed. Vice-Chairman of the VFA, Do Ha Nam, attributed the increasing demand in many countries and the improved competitiveness of Vietnamese rice around the world.

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