Thailand plans 12 new rice varieties

Thailand’s global reputation for delicious high-quality rice is about to get even better. The Kingdom is developing 12 new varieties of the grain that will be available in domestic and international markets in 2024.

The new rice varieties will be a testament to the country’s prowess in research and development in the fields of food and agriculture. The sectors are a national strength and Thailand is the only net food exporter in Asia. The Kingdom is practically synonymous with high-quality rice.

Competition in rice markets has intensified in recent years with a few other countries gaining larger shares through lower prices. But Thailand is determined to remain at the top of the pack. Its researchers are constantly creating and experimenting with new strains of the grain – some to take taste and texture to even higher levels, others to improve yields, productivity and adaptability to changing climate conditions.

“Thailand must be a leader in producing quality rice,” said Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanavisit. “The strategy requires focus on solving two problems: Thai rice can no longer compete on price and we have few varieties.”

Of the 12 new varieties, four are hard-texture grains, four are soft texture, two are Thai fragrant rice and two are high-nutrition types. Minister Jurin said that market research showed that global consumers prefer these varieties.

The Thai Rice Exporters Association is forecasting that rice exports will rise by 14.8 percent this year to 7 million tons. The Association said that there will be higher demand because of the global economic recovery.

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