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Thammasat unveils new rice strain

Thammasat University has unveiled a new strain of jasmine rice that could better withstand drought and pests, yield more produce and be grown in and out of season.

The non-GMO rice strain, which reportedly boasts a better quality than jasmine rice 105, had its patent registered at the Agriculture Ministry on March 5.

The Thammasat jasmine rice had previously been registered for patent at the Commerce Ministry, said Professor Boonhong Chongkid of the university's Department of Agricultural Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology.

He said the rice took only 60 days to blossom compared to jasmine rice 105's 100 days period while respective yield was 900-1,200 kilograms per rai compared to 500 kilograms per rai.

The academic said the new rice would be given to Pathum Thani farmers near the university’s Rangsit Campus to grow in an experiment before expanding it to other central provinces.

The rice has been introduced in the university’s 80th anniversary celebration, which involves various activities until June 27.

Another event is a nine-episode reality show titled "Khao Klang Muang" (Rice in Downtown City), which aims to educate society about the importance of rice and farmers.

Assoc Prof Harirak Sutabutr, chairman of the anniversary celebration's organising committee, said filming of the show was ongoing and it involved nine participants taking a seed of the new rice to their home or office to prove it can grow anywhere.

Another anniversary event is a photography contest titled the "80th anniversary of Thammasat University: yesterday, today and tomorrow". For details: www.tu80th-contest.com.


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