HANOI, March 27 (Reuters) - Vietnam said it will stockpile 270,000 tonnes of rice, including 80,000 tonnes of unhusked rice, to ensure food availability amid coronavirus-driven supply chain disruptions worldwide.
The first 190,000 tonnes of rice is to be warehoused by June 15, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement late on Thursday.
“Food security must always be the first priority,” the statement said.
The Vietnamese government said on Wednesday it would halt signing new rice export contracts until March 28 at the earliest under a review to ensure it has enough domestic supplies to cope with the virus outbreak.
Vietnam has reported 153 virus cases but no deaths, according to the health ministry. Tens of thousands of people are under quarantine out of concern they may have been exposed to the virus. (Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Devika Syamnath)
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