Thailand to certify more rice breeds to improve farmers’ productivity


More rice breeds suitable for Thailand’s farming ecosystems will be certified by the Rice Department, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, to help farmers further increase their productivity, government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke said on Friday.

Rice breeds on the shortlist, to be officially included in the department-certified rice breeds currently containing 172 breeds, are hard round rice and its shorter-lifespan variation, which are highly resilient against brown plant hoppers, flash floods and several rice diseases.

Hard rice contains more than 20% amylose and requires more water to cook perfectly compared to soft rice, but will also expand more after it is cooked.

Chai said these breeds of rice yield 1,300kg per rai for 110-115 days of cultivation, and 1,200kg per rai for 95-105 days cultivation. With amylose content of over 26%, they also have a unique fragrance and can be mixed with other white rice to create 1st grade 100% rice.

The 100% rice is a mixture of fragrant rice and white rice at the ratio of 60:40. It offers the perfect balance of fragrance and softness when cooked.

Chai added that the department and ministry are also committed to educating farmers on optimal farming techniques for each area, and improving the whole supply chain of rice production to increase output while minimising cost.

They also aim to further improve current rice breeds to ensure that Thailand’s rice exports have the best quality in the world in the next 3-4 years, said the spokesperson.