Cambodia’s premium fragrant rice was voted one of the best in the world in the latest global competition, coming in the top three.
Thailand’s Horm Malis rice came out on top, taking home the title of World’s Best Rice.
The 9th edition of the World Rice Conference took place in Macau yesterday, with seven counties – Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the US, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar – entering 21 different rice varieties.
Cambodia entered three brands – two premium fragrant rice varieties and one fragrant rice – selected during a national competition held last week.
Moul Sarith, the secretary-general of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), congratulated Cambodian rice farmers for the great results, but lamented that the kingdom did not take home the accolade.
“It was a close call for the judges, but ultimately the Thai variety, which is very similar to our own variety, won,” Mr Sareth said.
He believed the positive results will help boost sales of the Cambodian commodity.
A Cambodian variety called Phka Rumduol, but often also called phka malis or Cambodia jasmine rice by millers and traders, won the competition from 2012 to 2014, but lost its crown in 2015 to a rice variety from California.
Last year, another Thai brand from Chiang Mai took home the coveted prize at the eighth edition of the event.
Chan Sokheng, the chairman of rice export company Signature of Asia, said that after Cambodian rice was crowned the world’s best in 2012 his sales rose dramatically.
Phou Puy, the president of Green Rice Miller in Battambang province, said participating in the international contest alone will enhance the reputation of the Cambodian grain.
“Whether we win or lose, we can expect more orders from international buyers, as the competition will serve as a window to showcase our products,” he said.