Which country is called the rice bowl of the world ?

Though China and India have taken over as the largest producers of rice, Vietnam is known as the “Rice Bowl” of the world. You would be amazed to know that nearly half of the total land earmarked for agricultural production in Vietnam is allotted for rice production. Rice cultivation has been a part of Vietnamese culture since time immemorial. Rice along with maize and wheat is one of the top three most consumed foods in the world. Although rice production is prevalent throughout the country, Mekong River Delta in southern Vietnam and the Red River Delta regions have higher productivity. Due to this higher productivity and a good climate for rice production, Vietnam has been a net exporter of rice.

This Mekong River Delta, which comprises of 12 rice-producing provinces of Vietnam, is popularly known as the “Rice Bowl” of Vietnam. Rice cultivation has a good share of the overall economy of Vietnam. Vietnam’s tropical climate is best suited for the cultivation of a wide variety of high-quality rice.

Rice production in Vietnam

Vietnam’s total rice production in 2018-19 was about 46.510 million metric tonnes. According to FAO, Vietnam is the 5th largest producer of rice in the world. But in terms of exports, Vietnam is the second largest exporter of rice, coming only after Thailand. As per the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) data, the rice exports of Vietnam were 6.15 million tonnes in the year 2018. Rice exports saw an increase of 5.7% over the previous year. There has been an increase in rice exports due to high demand from traditional importing countries like China, Philippines and Indonesia. China is still the largest buyer of Vietnamese rice. Most of the manpower in Vietnam is engaged and dependent on rice cultivation. Nearly 9 million farming households in Vietnam are dependent on rice cultivation. The people of Vietnam refers to rice as “white gold”.

Top 10 rice producing countries of the world

  1. China
  2. India
  3. Indonesia
  4. Bangladesh
  5. Vietnam
  6. Thailand
  7. Myanmar
  8. Philippines
  9. Brazil
  10. Japan

Vietnam’s rice exports in 2019:

The government of Vietnam is expecting to export 6.5 million tons of rice in the calendar year 2019. This will be an increment of 0.4 million tonnes over the last year. More than half of Vietnamese rice exports go to Asian countries.

Though Thailand gained the top spot in terms of rice exports, India and Vietnam are catching very fast. With more Asian countries willing to increase their share of rice export at the global level, rice export has become very competitive. It has created a situation of rice-war for exporting countries. The global rice exports have seen a slow shifting towards high-quality rice. Thus, value addition, applying high technology and developing quality-grade rice is the need of the hour. Hot and humid climate is favorable for rice cultivation. Vietnam has a favorable climate for rice cultivation. Vietnam’s large rice cultivation fields, rightly make it the rice bowl of the world. It is also called the rice country in the world.

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