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Thailand to unveil 30 rice varieties in 2024

Aims to boost export competitiveness

Thailand exported 4 million tonnes of rice during the first six months of this year, which is a 20% increase compared to the same period last year.

Thailand is working to enhance its export competitiveness, accelerating the development of new rice varieties to meet market demand and vowing to introduce 30 new rice varieties next year.

Speaking after the second “new rice variety contest for commerce”, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said one Thai weakness is a lack of diversity in products offered on the global rice market, prompting the country to expedite the development of new rice varieties to compete with rivals.

The ministry set a target earlier to develop at least 12 new commercial rice varieties by 2024 under the five-year development plan spanning from 2020 to 2024 to boost rice export competitiveness.

Of the 12 new varieties, four are hard-texture grains, four are soft textures, two are Thai fragrant rice and two are high-nutrition types. These varieties are in high demand among global consumers.

However, the collaboration between the government and the private sector has already resulted in the successful development and certification of 12 new rice varieties within 2023, Mr Jurin said.

“Under the five-year plan, today we have achieved the target of a total of 21 new rice varieties, including the 12 varieties approved by the Department of Rice. They have surpassed the target in terms of the number of rice varieties and are ahead of the goal set for 2024,” he said.

According to Mr Jurin, Thailand exported 7.7 million tonnes of rice last year and it is believed that the export volume this year would surpass 8 million tonnes due to the increasing diversity of rice varieties, which would contribute to the improved export performance.

“This year, Thailand will once again become the second-largest rice exporter, and it is hoped that the new government will continue to prioritise rice strategies,” Mr Jurin said.

Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said Thai rice exports in the second half of the year are expected to increase in both quantity and value due to the growing global market demand and higher competitiveness of Thai rice compared to Vietnam, because of lower prices.

Despite the presence of the El Niño weather phenomenon, Thailand still has the ability to increase rice exports because of sufficient production, he said.

In the first six months of the year, Thailand already exported 4 million tonnes of rice, a 20% increase compared to the same period last year. It is anticipated that the remaining period would see exports of at least 4 million tonnes. This projection is due to the expectation that Vietnam’s rice exports will decrease in the second half of the year after overselling in the first half. Usually, Vietnam has the potential to export around 7 million tonnes of rice throughout the year, providing Thailand with an opportunity to increase its rice exports, said Mr Chookiat.

Regarding the El Niño impact from July to August, he said it is currently difficult to determine the extent of rainfall. However, initial assessments suggest that this year’s rice production would be similar to 2022, with an estimated quantity of 20 million tonnes of milled rice, he said.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2596056/thailand-to-unveil-30-rice-varieties-in-2024 QR Code

Published Date: June 21, 2023

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