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Nation can boost rice seed crops
Nguyen Tri Ngoc, Director General of the Department of Culture spoke to the Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam newspaper (Vietnam Economic Times) about how the country plans to ensure supplies.

Concerns have risen over whether the long cold spell early this year has seriously damaged the supply of rice seeds for the summer-winter crop in the north and the summer-autumn crop in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta. What do you think?

The shortage of rice seeds for the two crops was forecast even before the long cold spell.

In the 2007-2008 winter-spring crop, the long cold spell destroyed a lot of rice seedlings. But up to now I can say that farmers in the two central provinces of Nghe An and Thanh Hoa have sufficient rice seeds for the summer-autumn and summer-winter crops.

However, for farmers in the Hong (Red) River Delta and other northern provinces, harvesting time will be delayed between 10-15 days because of the recent cold snap.

I believe that with rice seeds coming from the south and central coastal provinces and from Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces, we will have enough rice seeds for the up-coming summer-winter crop.

Does the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) have a specific plan to overcome the difficulties?

When the transplantation of the winter-spring crop was completed, the MARD initiated some measures to tackle the rice seed shortage. We came up with three measures.

First, to utilise the remaining rice seeds from the winter-spring crop for the summer-autumn crop.

Second, to mobilise rice seeds from other localities.

Third, to facilitate conditions for all businesses and economic sectors to import rice strains for farmers.

In this context, we have foreseen some problems, including the quality and price of the rice seeds. As a result, we have instructed localities to strengthen their quality control activities and provided farmers with technical skills on how to handle rice seed imports from abroad or other localities.

Do you think some poor quality rice strains might be imported?

I can guarantee that the importation of rice strains is being strictly controlled.

But I advise farmers to only buy quality guaranteed seeds with clear origins and not to buy cheap rice seeds with low quality.

The price of rice seeds is high, as is fertiliser. A lot of farmers are reacting to this by using their fields intended for personal consumption to cultivate rice seeds. Do you have any advice for these farmers?

In my opinion, one of the ways to solve the problem is to let the farmers use their rice paddy designated for personal consumption to sell seeds.

However, they should know the technical procedures for the rice species they want to use as seeds, and use the right fertilisers to boost their crops.

What do you think needs to be done to ensure a good supply of rice seeds?

I think we have all the necessary conditions to create and develop an industry to produce seed species. The national seeds programme adopted by the Prime Minister till 2020 has required further investment in seed development projects which have been approved by the MARD and relevant authorities.
MGR Archive 18.6.2008
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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