Vietnam intends to reduce rice exports to 4 million tonnes per year by 2030, down from 7.1 million tonnes last year, according to a government document outlining its rice export policy. After India and Thailand, Vietnam is the world’s third-largest rice exporter.
The move is intended at “boosting high-quality rice exports, ensuring domestic food security, protecting the environment, and adapting to climate change.” Rice export revenue will fall to USD 2.62 billion per year by 2030, down from USD3.45 billion in 2022.
According to a rice merchant headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, while Vietnam’s rice cultivation land is dwindling due to climate change and some farmers are transitioning to producing other crops and breeding shrimp, the plan appears to be overly aggressive.
Some rice farmers in the Mekong Delta are converting portions of their fields into fruit farms, cultivating mangoes, grapefruit, jackfruit, and durian, but the great majority still rely on rice. Shrimp farming has been popular in the area for several years, while rising saltwater caused by climate change causes severe salinization in the Mekong Delta region