A high-end rice variety produced in Vietnam has taken home the runner-up prize in the World’s Best Rice Contest 2020, which was held in the United States.
Nguyen Trung Kien, the deputy chairman of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), confirmed on Friday that the Vietnamese ST25 rice had been honored in the second place at the contest.
The grand prize this year went to a Thai product, while Cambodian rice got the second runner-up prize.
The Vietnamese variety was the ultimate winner in last year’s edition of the World’s Best Rice Contest in the Philippines.
The World’s Best Rice Contest 2020 was organized in the framework of the 12th Annual The Rice Trader (TRT) World Rice Conference, which was organized in the United States from December 1 to 3.
According to Vietnamese agricultural engineer Tran Quang Cua, who planted the ST25, Vietnam sent three varieties of rice to the competition.
“The conference was held online this year due to the unpredictable developments of COVID-19. I was invited to spectate the competition from Ho Chi Minh City,” he said.
According to Cua, despite facing tough competition from the finest products of the world, the ST25 is one of the two last standing rice varieties, with the other being the Thai winner.
|This image shows a cooked meal using ST25 rice. Photo: H.T.D / Tuoi Tre|
Similar to previous years, the selection process of the contest was very well thought out, as a cohort of capable chefs were involved in the tasting of cooked rice samples, Cua remarked.
As per the official description, ST25 boasts disease-resistance, high yields, and climate-smart adaptability to saline and alum soil conditions in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.
When cooked, the grain offers notes of pineapple fragrance and chewy texture.
The ST25 is being intercropped in many shrimp cultivation areas in Mekong Delta provinces, namely Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Kien Giang, and Soc Trang, this winter-spring crop, Cua revealed.
An engineer residing in Soc Trang Province, Cua dedicated over thirty years of his career to agriculture research and development.
He used to undertake the deputy director position at Soc Trang Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
After retiring from his position five years ago, Cua continued his work in fragrant rice breeding and saw major domestic and international successes with his ST25 variety.