Agency launches contest for new Thai rice varieties in bid to boost exports

The Thai Rice Exporters Association is holding a contest to find new rice varieties to feed the global market, as well as strengthen Thailand’s competitiveness.

Innovators have until June 30 to register, before planting their variety between July and November. The winner will be chosen in December when the rice is harvested and tasted.

The association’s president Charoen Laothamatas said Thailand exported 1.45 million tonnes of rice in the first four months of this year, a fair bit lower than the target of 2 million tonnes.

He put the drop down to the price – Thai rice is more expensive compared to Vietnam or Pakistan – and an improvement in the quality of rice from other countries.

He added a similar contest will be held next year as well.