Vietnam’s jasmine rice crowned best in world

Wednesday, 2019-11-13 03:00:02
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An ST24 rice field in harvest season in Soc Trang Province.
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NDO – The Soc Trang-based organic rice ST24 was honoured as the best in the world for flavour for the first time ever, as it was granted the World’s Best Rice 2019 award at the 11th Annual World’s Best Rice Contest in Manila, the Philippines, on November 12.

The contest was part of the 11th World Rice Trade Conference held by rice industry analysts The Rice Trader from November 10 to 13. The event attracted hundreds of major rice enterprises and traders around the world.

Vietnam’s rice competed with strong rivals from Thailand and Cambodia in the contest, in which the jury and international chefs inspected the visual aspects of the rice submitted, as well as performed a sensory evaluation of the rice (pre-cooked and cooked), before unanimously announcing Vietnam's ST24 as the winner of this year’s contest.

This is the first time ever that a Vietnamese rice variety has been honoured as the best in the world after 10 seasons of the annual contest in the last decade. Previously, ST24 ranked third in the 9th World's Best Rice event in Macau, China, in 2017.

The Vietnamese delegation receive the World’s Best Rice 2019 prize for the Vietnamese ST24 rice variety at the 11th Annual World’s Best Rice Contest in Manila, the Philippines, on November 12, 2019.

ST24 – with the “ST” standing for the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang – 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. ST24 also claimed the top prize at the 3rd Vietnam Rice Festival in Long An last year.

The ST rice line includes many different varieties improved by a Soc Trang's high-quality rice production team, led by Hero of Labour, engineer Ho Quang Cua and his colleagues, engineer Nguyen Thi Thu Huong and Dr. Tran Tan Phuong, over the past 20 years. In which, the ST24 was bred from many famous domestic rice varieties over the last decade.

The short-term variety was put into trial in 2014, and went into production in 2016. It is more resistant than some traditional rice varieties, yielding up to 8.5 tonnes per hectare. Apart from being a specialty rice variety, ST24 is also considered as a climate-resilient one in the Mekong Delta as it can adapt to saline, alum soil and is suitable for rice-shrimp intercropping areas.

ST24 rice features long grains with a clear white colour and typical fragrance producing a sticky cooked rice.

As a specialty of Soc Trang Province, ST24 features outstanding qualities: long grain, clear white colour, and fragrant and sticky cooked rice. In March 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development officially recognised the ST24 rice variety as a national rice variety.

Currently, ST24 rice has marked a strong attraction in the domestic market with a price of VND30,000-35,000 per kg. The honouring of Vietnamese rice in the Manila contest also marks a milestone in recognising the reputation of Vietnamese rice and is expected to promote Vietnamese rice production and trading in the world.