Farmers in Thailand will start cultivating the first lot of the KorKhor 79 rice variety this year, aiming to introduce the new soft rice variety to the export market, especially in Asia.
The Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) says the KorKhor 79 rice variety will initially be farmed on 8 square kilometers of land, in areas served by the irrigation networks, which should produce 2,500 tons at harvest.
TREA President Pol Lt Charoen Laothamatas said this new type of soft rice will be introduced to the international market, especially in China, Malaysia and the Philippines, where soft rice is more popular.
The association is aiming to compete with soft rice exports from Vietnam, which has been performing well in Asian markets.
Harvests from these farms will be purchased by mills at the market price of 9,500 baht per ton, and is expected to be sold at prices lower than Hom Mali rice, but higher than white and local fragrant rice.
KorKhor 79 rice can yield 700-800 kilogram of paddy per 0.16 hectares of land. The Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) has set up a committee to draft quality standards for KorKhor 79 production.
The DFT Director General Keerati Rushchano said delegates from related agencies, including exporters, rice millers, the Department of Agricultural Extension and the Rice Department, have been approached to help set up the quality standards, with no specific time frame for when the standards will be announced.
He said the quality assurance of this new KorKhor 79 rice will help promote confidence among customers in soft rice from Thailand, which will contribute favourably to the overall exports of Thai rice in the future. (NNT)