Vietnamese rice crowned best at 2019 World Rice Conference

10:00 | 18/12/2019 Events

(VEN) - Organic rice ST24 from Vietnam’s Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang was crowned the best in the world at The Rice Trader (TRT) World Rice Conference 2019 in Manila, the Philippines, on November 12.

vietnamese rice crowned best at 2019 world rice conference

Previously, ST24 ranked third in the 9th World’s Best Rice event in Macau, China, in 2017. It also claimed the top prize at the 3rd Vietnam Rice Festival in the Mekong Delta province of Long An last year.

ST24 won first prize at the first Vietnam Rice Contest held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 4 to be selected as the variety to send to the World’s Best Rice 2019.

The ST24 rice variety was developed by a group of scientists including engineer Ho Quang Cua, Dr. Tran Tan Phuong and M.S. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong. The group was led by engineer Ho Quang Cua, who was former deputy director of the Soc Trang Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

This fragrant rice variety was first researched 10 years ago, was tested in 2014, and put into trial cultivation in 2016. It is a short-term rice variety, which is much more disease-resistant than some traditional rice varieties, yielding up to seven tonnes of rice per hectare. In addition to being a special rice variety, ST24 is a climate-smart rice variety in the Mekong Delta, as it can grow well in saline and alum soil conditions. Particularly, ST24 is suitable for intercropping areas of rice and shrimp.

ST24 is sold in Vietnam and exported to China, Canada, and the EU. In 2018, ST24 rice was exported to China at a price of US$800 USD/tonne, nearly double that of a conventional rice variety. ST24 rice features long grains with a clear white color and typical fragrance producing a sticky cooked rice.

Vietnam’s rice exports are facing difficulties due to the declining demand in traditional markets. In the first 10 months of 2019, Vietnam exported an estimated 5.56 million tonnes of rice worth US$2.43 billion, up 6.1 percent in volume but down 9.1 percent in value compared to the same period in 2018. However, high-quality rice varieties such as ST24 and Hat Ngoc Troi (pearl of heaven) are still maintaining their market share and supply remains lower than demand. Vietnam will encourage farmers to develop high quality rice production and branding, apart from expanding new markets and markets with which the country has signed a free trade agreement.

Ngoc Bao