Making news

‘Green lane’ proposed for waterway transport of rice

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has proposed a “green lane” be quickly opened for waterway transport to ensure smooth trading of rice.

In its urgent proposal, the MoIT suggested the Prime Minister assign ministries, sectors, and relevant localities to promptly open a “green lane” for waterway transport, which is currently in charge of 95 percent of the rice output in the Mekong Delta - the country’s biggest agricultural hub and also home to a large river and canal network.

Keeping waterway transportation uninterrupted will substantially help rice exporters maintain supply chains, from the fields to ports for overseas shipment, the MoIT said.

It proposed the PM assign the Ministry of Transport to coordinate with the Ministry of Health and relevant ministries, sectors, and localities to soon devise a “green lane” plan for waterway transport that can both ensure COVID-19 prevention and ease the existing congestion in the flow of goods.

Strict social distancing measures under the PM’s Directive 16 are being imposed on 19 provinces and cities in the south, including the Mekong Delta, to curb the spread of COVID-19. That has reportedly led to congestion in the transportation of rice from fields to factories and ports.

According to the Vietnam Food Association, the country exported over 3.49 million tonnes of husked rice in the first seven months of 2021, down 12.7 percent year on year. This year’s total export volume is forecast at 6 million - 6.2 million tonnes worth about 3.32 billion USD./.