Thai Jasmine Rice Variety Named Best In The World
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Nov 19, 2017

The World Rice Conference at its annual meeting in Macau on November 8 declared Thailand’s fragrant Hom Mali variety the world’s best rice, maintaining Thailand’s number one rank a second year in a row after several years of lower rice quality due to floods, droughts and a mishandled rice pledging scheme.

Thailand’s Khao Dawk Mali 105 brand won the title, while the second and third ranks went to Cambodia’s Phka Rumdoul fragrant rice and a jasmine rice variety from Vietnam, respectively. The rice samples are judged according to five criteria, both before and after cooking, including appearance, texture, moisture, aroma and length of grain.

Seven counties – Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the US, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar – competed for the title, entering 21 different rice varieties. For Thailand it is a major boost, as it had lost the title to Myanmar in 2011, Cambodia in 2012 and 2013 and to the US in 2015.

Winning the title would boost Thai rice revenues and income for farmers, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, as it would increase both global demand and trade prices. Thailand’s Hom Mali is currently quoted at $850 per tonne, compared to $750 for one tonne of Cambodia’s and $550 for Vietnam’s top brand.

According to Chookiat, Thailand lost the title in the past because the quality of Thai rice dropped due to the rushed rice cultivation as a result from a pledging scheme that accepted every grain. Now, with a new emphasis on quality farming and a trend towards organic rice cultivation, the naturally fragrant Hom Mali rice of from paddy fields uncontaminated with chemicals could score much higher.

For Cambodia, it was the third year in a row the country failed to take the top spot in the contest.

“We came in second after Thailand, but our rice was recognised and widely supported for its good quality during the contest. Many international buyers are interested in our rice,” said Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation.

“Standing in second place does not hurt our market, and it is not a bad thing. It is better than not winning an award at all. We gain a lot of benefits from promoting our rice, and more or less this will help with the growth of our exports,” he added.

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Contact Imran Saddique