Cheang Sen Kai, a Singaporean businessman who lost his steel business in the wake of the Asian financial crisis in 1997, ended up falling in love with the charm and taste of Thai hom mali (fragrant, or jasmine) brown rice after a visit to Chiang Mai a decade ago.
Farmers plant rice sprouts on a farm in Chiang Mai's Mae Rim district.
He did not eat any hom mali brown rice while there, but his travelling companion took some back home and cooked it for him for New Year. When he tasted his first spoonful, he thought it was so fantastic that he felt sure he could easily market it in Singapore.
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