Cambodian rice researchers will soon release a new rice variety more resilient to climate change that produces significantly better yields than conventional rice types. Just as important in the development of vibrant international market demand, the new variety also delivers better taste after cooking.
Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) director Lor Bunna told Khmer Times that the new variety is a fragrant rice hybrid developed by his research team over the course of 10 years.
“Until now, we have not yet named it, but our research team [is] working with farmers to test it and we have hopes to release it at the end of this year or early next year,” he said.
“This is a variety we hope our farmers will [find a good export market for] with high production. It can be grown in areas with consistent rice water,” he added.
Since the 1990s, CARDI has developed and released more than 40 rice varieties to farmers, some of which have been forgotten.
Bunna said 44 rice varieties have been developed since the early 1990s.
Some however are no longer suitable because of natural, soil and climate change problems.
Initially CARDI released only high yield, fast growing varieties to elevate food security in the country. Once food security in the country had been attained, the researchers started conducting development of new fragrant rice varieties in order to boost exports.