Four varieties top national rice competition

02.11.2017

Four varieties of premium fragrant rice and one variety of fragrant rice have come out on top at a national rice competition held yesterday and will be representing the kingdom in this year’s World’s Best Rice Competition later this month in Macau, China.

The chosen premium fragrant rice varieties were Phka Rumduol, Phka Rumdeng, Somaly and Phka Knhei, while the fragrant rice was Sen Kra Oub.

Twelve premium fragrant rice varieties, eight brands of fragrant rice and three types of long grain white rice were entered in the competition, vying for the title of best rice in Cambodia.

The 20-member judge panel was composed of representatives from the Cambodia Chef Association, the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), the Cambodia Agricultural Research and Development Institute and a number of other international rice experts, who sampled the rice for external appearance and taste.

Millers and agricultural communities from across the nation sent samples of their grain to the competition, said CRF vice-president Hun Lak.

“The competition is very important because it has given us the opportunity to choose Cambodia’s best rice,” Mr Lak said.

“Now we have a strong contender for the title of world’s best rice. If we win, our rice will attain even more international recognition.”

The winners of yesterday’s competition will receive their certificates in an annual rice forum that will take place in mid-November.

CRF president Sok Puthyvuth applauded the fact that agricultural communities entered the competition, saying it represents progress for the rice sector.

“We are proud this year’s contest has drawn in agricultural communities, which means they also want their rice and their millers to be recognised nationally and internationally,” Mr Puthyvuth said.

Cambodian rice variety Phka Rumduol, often called Phka Malis or Cambodia jasmine rice by millers and traders, won the international competition from 2012 to 2014, but lost its crown in 2015 to a rice variety from California.

“I cannot say whether or not Cambodia will win the international contest this year, but I can tell you that, as a sector, we have improved in a variety of areas, including production efficiency, quality of rice and quality of packaging,” Mr Puthyvuth said.

Phou Puy, the president of Green Rice Miller in Battambang province, said participating in the international contest alone will enhance the reputation of the Cambodian grain.

“It is an important contest and can make our brands be known internationally,” Mr Puy said.

Mr Puy said purchases of Cambodian rice will increase following the competition, whether a Cambodian brand comes out on top or not.

“Whether we win or lose, we can expect more orders from international buyers, as the competition will serve as a window to showcase our products,” he said.

From January to September 2017, Cambodia exported 422,000 tonnes of milled rice, a 16 percent increase compared with the same period a year earlier.


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