Thailand opens rice DNA testing centre after Hom Mali loses world crown
Thailand has opened a genetic testing centre to improve its rice after the country’s famed Hom Mali (jasmine) grain was dethroned by a Cambodia strain at the World Rice Conference.
The DNA testing service will help rice farmers, millers and traders ensure the authenticity of their product via rapid genetic tests at low cost.
The service aims to strengthen the international reputation of Thai rice and create an advantage amid fierce competition, he added.
Judges at last month’s World Rice Conference complained that Thai Hom Mali had lost its famous fragrance, and crowned Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety as the globe’s best.
Thai Hom Mali exports rose 27% to 1.28 million tonnes in the first 10 months of 2022 from a year earlier, Ronnarong reported.
Monthly rice export volume is likely to increase as the economies of trading partners recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.
The easing of China’s zero-Covid policy is also expected to boost demand for Thai rice.