After nearly a decade of research and development, Cambodia and Australia on April 5 jointly announced the official launch of a new fragrant rice variety named Champei Sar 70 (CPS 70) to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
CPS 70 was born of close collaboration between the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the Australian government, following nine years of studies and 80 on-farm trials in both dry and rainy seasons. The cultivar was developed from the award-winning “Phka Rumduol with CNi9024”, according to an April 5 joint press release by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh.
Agriculture minister Dith Tina and Australian ambassador Justin Whyatt jointly harvested CPS 70 during the April 5 ceremonial launch at the CARDI headquarters on the outskirts of the capital.
Tina noted that CPS 70 was named by Prime Minister Hun Sen to celebrate the two nations’ diplomatic relations, which have now turned 70.
“This new variety will significantly contribute to the diversification of fragrant rice production and the export of fragrant rice to international markets, leading to the improvement of farmers' livelihoods,” Tina was quoted as saying in the release.
Whyatt said his government takes pride in providing support for the development of CPS 70.
“I hope that farmers across Cambodia will grow CPS 70 to supply local and international markets, including Australia,” Whyatt was cited as saying in the release.
According to CARDI director Lor Bunna, CPS 70 is a non-seasonal crop that matures after three months. It is resistant to floods and drought, thereby enabling farmers to grow it two to three times per year.
“This rice variety is very beneficial for both farmers and traders. It could help farmers cut down on their expenses and efforts to take care of their rice fields. Since it is non-seasonal, traders can buy the paddy all year round,” he said.