Thailand Bets on New Rice Grain to Feed the World

Every day, Chuanchom Deerusamee eats thousands of grains of rice.

Her relationship to the grain goes much deeper than her diet. Over the course of her 16-year career as researcher and rice expert at Chai Nat Rice Research Centre, she has worked with and grown tonnes of the world’s most popular starch in an effort to create the ultimate version.

She never thought a softer variety would be the answer.

For more than 35 years, since the early 1980s, Thailand was the world’s largest rice exporter, capturing the global market with firm varieties of jasmine and white rice. But the country that exports one-fifth of the world’s rice is in trouble: In 2015, India took the top spot. And in the first half of this year, Thailand slipped to No. 3, behind rival exporter Vietnam, whose softer, plumper varieties are increasingly preferred by some of Asia’s biggest rice consumers, from China to the Philippines. Read more…..


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