10 rice cultivars a boon for farmers

10 rice cultivars a boon for farmers

The Rice Department (RD) will officially recognise 10 new rice cultivars this year to better fulfil the needs of consumers and farmers.

The new varieties are of better quality and will generate higher income for farmers and provide consumers with broader options, according to the department.

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Captain Thammanat Prompow recently unveiled the 10 rice cultivars that will be officially recognised by the RD this year.

He said the ministry values the research and development which has gone into producing new rice varieties. He has given the RD a goal to meet, which is to produce at least four to five new varieties every year.

New types of rice certified by the department must be suitable for growing in any area of the country, be resistant to both drought and flood and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to allow the country to compete with rival nations, said Capt Thammanat.

Thammanat: Has set Rice Dept a goal

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Anucha Nakasai said rice farmers stand to benefit from the new rice varieties as they will yield larger amounts of produce per rai and are more immune to pests and diseases, resulting in lower costs of farming through the reduction of pesticide usage.

The soon-to-be-recognised rice cultivars will also provide farmers and consumers with more rice alternatives in addition to the ones already certified by the RD, the deputy minister added.

RD director-general Natthakit Khongthip said the rice varieties to be registered this year are more diverse and offer choices that suit different soil conditions, as well as the consumers' distinct preferences.

According to Mr Natthakit, the 10 rice varieties set for certification include those belonging to various categories, such as white soft-ground rice, white hard-ground rice, jasmine rice, sticky rice and Japanese rice. He said each variety has different strengths.

For example, white soft-ground rice produces a 10-15% higher output than other common varieties despite a short lifespan of 90-100 days. It is immune to the bacterial leaf blight disease and brown planthoppers and can survive floods and cold weather well.

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