Prime Minister Hun Sen lauded two new rice varieties of rice, Champei Sar 70 and Kangrei, which were developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The two varieties have a shorter cultivation-to-harvest period than most varieties.

While presiding over the agriculture ministry’s annual meeting on March 24, he not only praised the new species, but also announced that he would provide the ministry with 100 rice transplanters. The ministry would be responsible for distributing the machinery to farming communities.

“I appreciate the discovery of these two new types of rice, Champei Sar 70 and Kangrei. I applaud all technical research which is linked to cultivation,” he said.

He said that the establishment of the two types was another feather in the cap of Cambodian agriculture know-how.

“This could lead to newer varieties in the future. Thanks to research like this, Cambodia will never again suffer from food shortages, regardless of the geopolitical situation,” he said.

Agriculture minister Dith Tina described Champei Sar 70 as a fast-growing fragrant rice, which is ready for harvesting between 93-97 days after cultivation. It yields from 3.2 to 4.9 tonnes per hectare.

“Kangrei’s cultivation period is even shorter, from 78 to 84 days. It can be grown in any season and produces between 4.3 and 7.1 tonnes per hectare,” he explained.

Tina said that Champei Sar 70 was bred by Uk Makara, former director of the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), while Kangrei was the result of work by Khun Leang Hak, a staff member at an agriculture development NGO.

Hun Sen awarded medals to the breeders of the two new varieties.