Riceberry plantation to expand

Economy November 06, 2015 01:00

By Petchanet Pratruangkrai

The

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The Commerce Ministry aims to increase the total plantation area for the Riceberry rice variety to 20,000 rai (3,200 hectares) within three years, up from 5,000 rai currently, to serve high demand in the world market for organic rice grains as well as to



 

 

The Commerce Ministry aims to increase the total plantation area for the Riceberry rice variety to 20,000 rai (3,200 hectares) within three years, up from 5,000 rai currently, to serve high demand in the world market for organic rice grains as well as to increase farmers’ incomes.

The strategy is part of the government’s plan to encourage farmers to grow value-added rice and reduce the plantation area for white rice, since Riceberry can bring in twice the price of white rice.

To ensure a good standard for Riceberry, the ministry will cooperate with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements to inspect and certify the rice as an organic product.

The ministry will also cooperate with the Agriculture Ministry to set up a zoning system for Riceberry cultivation to ensure that this rice is 100 per cent organic.

Permanent secretary Chutima Bunyapraphasara said the Commerce Ministry planned to promote Riceberry cultivation as it foresaw high demand, since as it has high nutritional value while its supply is low in the world market.

So far, Thailand has only about 5,000 rai of Riceberry plantation area create about 1,500 tonnes of rice production each year. The government is set to promote the plantation to 20,000 rai.

According to the ministry, many countries including China, Germany, Britain, the Netherlands and the United States have shown strong demand for Thai Riceberry.

In the domestic market it sells for about Bt50 a kilogram, while the export price is Bt200 a kilo.