The Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) has developed a rice variety better adapted to withstand the drastic changes in weather patterns seen in Cambodia in recent years.
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Prime Minister Hun Sen broke the news yesterday during the closing ceremony of the Ministry of Agriculture’s annual conference.
Baptised ‘Mey Tey’, the new rice is a premium fragrant variety that can reportedly survive severe draughts and floods, which have become more common in the kingdom in recent years, Mr Hun Sen said.
“We haven’t tasted it yet, but I believe it will be a success,” he said.
“It can withstand extreme changes in temperature,” he said, explaining that some of the rice varieties Cambodian farmers are using struggle to survive in the hot weather of recent weeks.
Hun Lak, vice president of Cambodia Rice Federation, said the work of CARDI in developing new rice varieties is now more important than ever due to climate change.
“It is essential to work on new rice varieties given how drastically the weather is changing. All our neighbours are also working on this type of research,” Mr Lak said.
“We need new rice varieties that can help us increase yields and keep up the price of the commodity. If we don’t undertake this type of research, we run the risk of not being able to produce enough rice to meet market demand.”
Cambodia’s exports of milled rice fell by 3.4 percent during the first three months of 2018, dropping to 161,115 tonnes.