Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia three-time champ

Cambodia three-time champ

Women demonstrate traditional rice-farming methods in Phnom Penh on Tuesday at the second annual rice festival
Women demonstrate traditional rice-farming methods in Phnom Penh on Tuesday at the second annual rice festival, a precursor for the sixth annual World Rice Conference. Heng Chivoan

Cambodia three-time champ

Cambodian rice was yesterday named the World’s Best Rice for 2014 along with Thailand, an accolade the Kingdom has received for the past three years running.

The winners of the annual competition were announced yesterday during the closing day of the sixth World Rice Conference in Phnom Penh. Both Cambodia and Thailand have now received the title three times each since the award was first offered in 2009. Myanmar won the title in 2011.

Jeremy Zwinger, president and CEO of The Rice Trader, told the Post that 15 countries entered the race for the 2014 World’s Best Rice awards. Judges awarded Cambodian and Thai rice scores of 53, resulting in a draw between the neighbouring nations.

“Cambodian rice is excellent. Cambodian jasmine rice is absolutely the best test rice in the world in 2011, 2012, and 2013,” Zwinger told the Post yesterday.

“Cambodia won the award three times in a row. So it is [a] very big honour. Cambodian rice has amazing potential in the future,” he said.

The winning grain was Cambodia’s Romdoul Rice, a jasmine rice seed variety.

Talking to reporters after receiving the award, Sok Puthyvuth, president of Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), said that winning the award three times consistently will help boost Cambodian rice exports.

“It is a proud day for our Cambodian rice,” Puthyvuth said. “We hope that Cambodia’s rice reputation gets more well known from now on. In the mean time, we need to do more work in order to ensure that we have more capacity to supply this well-known rice to the world market.”

“I hope that our farmers are now more encouraged to grow such good quality rice. We will continue to try to strengthen the standards of quality,” the CRF president said.

Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said he was surprised at the rapid improvement in Cambodia’s rice over the past five years.

“Honestly, Cambodian fragrant jasmine rice nowadays, the quality is somehow better than Thai [rice],” he said, adding his association submitted six different varieties of rice for this year’s competition.

“Thailand and Cambodia have very similar varieties of jasmine even though we call it different names. We hope that in future we can jointly package everything together and do some kind of cooperation in terms of trading jasmine rice to benefit both countries.”

Ophaswongse said Thai farmers have been focused on increasing yields and as such using more chemicals which can result in a decline in quality.

Sok David, vice-president of Golden Rice Cambodia, said the award has show-cased the Kingdom’s quality.

“If your [client] wants a lower price with specific quality, Cambodia can do it,” he said.

“That said, I hope that the quantity will also increase in the next few years so we can reach the 1 million-tonne goal,” he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,