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CRF kicks off annual forum with rice competition

Judges inspect rice yesterday at the Sokha Hotel in Phnom Penh during the Cambodian Rice Federation's annual rice festival.
Judges inspect rice yesterday at the Sokha Hotel in Phnom Penh during the Cambodian Rice Federation's annual rice festival. Pha Lina

CRF kicks off annual forum with rice competition

The Cambodia Rice Federation opened its annual rice festival yesterday with a competition to find the country’s best rice, with Prime Minister Hun Sen scheduled to address the forum today.

The three-day festival, the fifth time it is being organised by the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), gave out three awards in different categories, with the announcement of two other awards to be made by Hun Sen today. The competition was a way to push farmers and millers to increase the quality of rice produced in the Kingdom, said Sok Puthyvuth, president of the CRF.

“Based on this competition, the federation will know where the best rice is grown and farmers and associations can study and learn more about the technique used across the country,” Puthyvuth said.

The Battambang-based agricultural community of Sangha Phal was awarded the best paddy in the Kingdom, with its representative Nov Sopheap saying the 200 farmers who make up the community will now look to expand its operations and use better growing techniques.

“With the prize, we will expand membership and land that is farmed to produce more rice. We will also provide technical assistance to people to get access to good seeds,” Sopheap said.

Chan Pech, general manager of Cambodian rice miller Signatures of Asia, which won best parboiled rice, said his product was popular in the European Union, where it was appreciated for its quality.

“It makes us proud that Cambodia can produce the best quality of rice, like India or Pakistan. The prize will encourage us to strengthen the quality going forward,” he added.

Cambodia’s biggest rice exporter, Amru Rice, was awarded for having the best quality long grain white rice, while the remaining two awards will be for fragrant and jasmine rice. Over the next two days, the meeting will conduct sessions with technical experts looking to improve productivity and access to finance, as well has have panel discussions with government officials and the private sector.

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