With fields now abundant with the golden stalks of a new rice variety, Champei Sar 70 (CPS 70), both the agriculture ministry and the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh are keenly expecting a breakthrough in the market.

A video released on July 19 revealed the anticipated arrival of this variety, crossbred from the award-winning Cambodian fragrant rice Phka Rumduol.

“CPS 70 is the proud result of collaboration between Australia and the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute [CARDI],” beams Australian ambassador Justin Whyatt in the video.

This non-seasonal variety, according to CARDI, can be harvested in just three months and even grown up to three times a year, creating opportunities for heightened annual production volumes and incomes.

Anticipation is high for CPS 70 to play a substantial role in Cambodia’s agricultural development, both domestically and abroad. With a projected boost to income and productivity, this variety holds immense potential for the nation’s farmers.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina recalled that CPS 70 was sprouted from the renowned Phka Rumduol, a type of long-grain jasmine rice that was crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the The Rice Trader (TRT) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand, on November 17 last year.

“I thank Australia for supporting research into this variety, especially for the agricultural sector,” he said.

Tina is optimistic about the future, believing this new variety will bring bountiful harvests, find its way into increasing markets and enhance the livelihoods of Cambodian farmers.

Echoing this sentiment, Kim Sreyroth, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, praised CPS 70 for its versatility, particularly its non-seasonal nature and resilience to climate change.

“This variety has the potential to reach the market soon. “We can grow this Champei Sar 70 twice or even three times a year and this rice variety fetches a higher price than others,” she said.

The variety is expected to be exported to the ASEAN market, without infringing on the market share of the Sen Kra’op (SKO) fragrant rice or Phka Rumduol.

Prime Minister Hun Sen bestowed upon the rice the name Champei Sar 70 to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Australia.