For the third year in a row, Cambodian jasmine rice, or Phka Romdoul, was deemed the world’s best.
But this year, the coveted title—awarded by a panel of judges at the World Rice Conference at the Sofitel Hotel in Phnom Penh—was shared with hommali fragrant rice grown in Thailand.
The two winners, determined in a blind taste test, beat out 41 other countries.
“We won the best rice,” Sok Puthyvuth, president of the Cambodian Rice Federation said during the conference, “but what we need to do next is to improve our quality and brand, and promote our rice to make it more famous.”
“There is a limited number of people who know about our rice, so we have to work harder,” he said.
Pat Daddow, global market analyst for industry publication The Rice Trader, said the award should give Cambodian traders more muscle in the global marketplace.
“I think it will help Cambodia quite a bit,” he said on the sidelines of the event. “It gives them a presence in the world market and they can absolutely use it as a branding item.”