Ministry lists top ten commercial rice varieties
The Department of Trade Promotion under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has listed the top ten Lao rice varieties for domestic sale and export.
Laos has about 12,000 rice varieties but many of them still need improvement for commercialisation, department Director General MrSomvangNinthavong told Vientiane Times recently.
Countries such as China, the Republic of Korea and others in Southeast Asia have taken a liking to Lao rice after studying the different species, especially black sticky rice, because it is free of chemicals, he said.
“However, the top ten rice varieties still have insufficient markets as Lao producers and businesses have been trying to process these rice products for export,” he added.
Buyers normally order rice products that appeal to their markets based on taste and nutritional value.
MrSomvang said Laos produced about 2 million tonnes of rice in addition to domestic needs but less than this figure was exported as the quality was below market requirements.
“Rice growers and businesses don't need to concern themselves about the market if the quality of their rice comes up to standard,” he advised.
“Producers and entrepreneurs should pay more attention to improving the quality of their crop to meet market standards,” he added.
Farmers can improve crop quality through better selection and packaging, and products would be easier to sell in large markets if they met regional market requirements.
A major challenge is that many farmers still lack technical skills and basic knowledge on trading, business management and marketing.
Meanwhile, some producers had good ideas, long-term experience and were innovative in developing their rice products but still required support from the government and had difficulty accessing finance.
Variou s agricultural products from Laos are exported to international markets especially in Southeast Asia and the European Union, as producers have received assistance from different government sectors and exchanged ideas with other business operators and experts.
Some entrepreneurs have also found trading partners by attending exhibitions and fairs in Laos and overseas.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update January 18, 2017)