Cambodia hopes the Phka Romdoul rice variety will once again win the World’s Best Rice Award. KT/Chor Sokunthea

From Khmer Times

Cambodia’s three-year reign as holder of the World’s Best Rice Award came to an end last year, but the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) is confident it will regain the title at next month’s ceremony in Thailand.

CRF Secretary-General Moul Sarith told Khmer Times yesterday that they were currently selecting which rice varieties to take to the event in neighboring Thailand’s northern Chiang Mai province.

“We don’t know yet which sort of Cambodian premium rice will be chosen to compete for the World’s Best Rice Award this year, but after quality tests we will select about five Cambodian premium variety of aromatic milled rice,” Mr. Sarith said.

For the next two weeks, he said the CRF was calling on the Kingdom’s rice producers to submit samples of their rice, in order that they might find the best examples from this year’s harvest.

Mr. Sarith was optimistic that the Phka Romdoul rice variety would yet again prove to be not just the country’s, but also the world’s best rice.

Before winning for the first time in 2012, Cambodia used to export about 90,000 tons annually, Mr. Sarith explained. However, exports increased greatly with the three-year winning run in concert with government efforts.

“About 530,000 tons of Phka Romdoul rice were exported last year,” said Mr. Sarith.

Seu Rany, CRF vice president, told Khmer Times that Cambodia was bound to win this year, as it was blessed with the best land for rice farming, which meant that excessive fertilizers were not needed, and thus high quality is always guaranteed.

Undersecretary of state for the Agriculture Ministry, Hean Vanhan, echoed this view, and said he was confident of winning next month, despite the drought followed by floods affecting farmers across the country. He noted that rice exports would likely be lower this year.

So far this year, Cambodia exported 361,505 tons of rice, 2.1 percent less than during the same period last year. Last month, however, 41,429 tons were exported, a 53 percent jump from the year before.

Cambodian rice is presently sold in 62 countries, with three of the top buyers being China, France and Poland. Last week China signed an agreement to double its import of Cambodian rice, from 100,000 to 200,000 tons annually. The Cambodian government has also spoken of searching for new export markets, including East Timor.

Keywords: rice, best rice, paddy, farming, agriculture, export, Cambodia