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February 2024

Thamanat warns local rice farmers

Alarm sounded on smuggled strains

The government has warned farmers not to smuggle or grow rice sourced from Vietnam that Thai authorities have not yet certified.

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Capt Thamanat Prompow on Friday issued the warning to Thai farmers saying they could be in trouble if Vietnam files complaints against them.

Capt Thamanat said this could also affect the country’s reputation and bilateral ties.

The minister admitted that rice strains from Vietnam produce more yield per rai than Thai rice strains, which can generate more income for farmers.

But he said it is impossible for the Department of Rice to certify rice strains smuggled in from neighbouring countries.

Capt Thamanat said he instructed the Department of Rice to research and develop new domestic rice strains that will yield more crops per rai with better quality so farmers can use them for growing in the next planting season

On Tuesday, The Rice Trader (TRT) announced that Vietnam’s Ong Cua ST25 rice won the first prize in the World’s Best Rice 2023 contest at the World Rice Conference in Cebu, Philippines, held on Nov 28-30, beating about 30 other rice varieties submitted from various countries.

The second and third prizes were won by rice from Cambodia and India, respectively.

The president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, Chookiat Ophaswongse, said that Thailand did not join this year’s contest even though Thai rice is widely recognised for its high quality and standards.

Thailand’s Hom Mali 105 rice won the world’s best rice title for two consecutive years in 2020 and 2021

However, Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol rice surpassed Thailand’s Hom Mali rice, winning the title of “Best Rice in the World” in 2022.

The failure of Thai rice to join the competition caused a stir among the Thai public, given that Thai rice has long been a world champion and has always been among the top three best rice types worldwide.

Capt Thamanat offered assurances about local rice despite its lower yield per rai.

“When it comes to quality, Thai rice is not inferior to any other rice variety,” Capt Thamanat said. QR Code

Published Date: December 9, 2023

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