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Amru embarks on pilot climate change resilient rice variety project

(Khmer Times: December 12, 2020)

Amru Rice (Cambodia), one of the leading milled rice exporters in Cambodia, has conducted a pilot project on Phka Mealdey, a climate change resilient rice variety.

Located on an area of one hectare inside Amru Rice mill processing factory in Prasat Balaing district, Kampong Thom province, the model paddy field Phka Mealdey variety has been exposing the yellow rice grains, as sign of almost harvest time soon.

Phka Mealdey rice variety is a medium rice variety with fragrance, seasonal, which was released and disseminated to farmers for use by the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in early 2018. This rice variety is good quality rice, long, smooth, soft, delicious and also has a light aroma and value for national and international markets.

Amru Rice has started this model paddy field piloting by using 60kg of seed for planting with its organic fertilizer and organic standard, under cooperation with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Besides cooperation with IRRI on this model paddy field Phka Mealdey, Amru Rice also received support on technical term from the Australian Government through Cambodia-Australia Agricultural Value Chain Program (CAVAC) specifically on rice planting machine.

“Cambodia is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with longer periods of drought combined with excessive rain and flooding. CAVAC works with CARDI, CRF and PDAFFs to scale up the introduction of the rice variety Phka Mealdey which is drought resistant and flood tolerant,” stated CAVAC.

Dr. Ouk Makara, Director of CARDI said Phka Mealdey variety is resilient to climate change, drought and the quality and yield is also high.

“It is up to the market demand and farmer’s needs, but we conducted research every day to find the better rice crops to adapt with the climate changes. For the last two years, CARDI released two new rice varieties, Phka Mealdey and Sen Kro Ob 01,” he said.

According to CARDI, the yield of Phka Mealdey is from 3.5 to 5.5 tonnes per hectare.

Amru Rice is strongly committed to the quality of this Phka Mealdey model paddy field with all the process including the pre-planting (on seed), planting technique, and especially the post-harvested. For instance, to be cautious on the quality on the post-harvested, the drying process is practiced by traditionally under the sunlight, instead of drying in the mechanical drying system. By doing this, Amru Rice expects to get the rice quality and will be useful for the evaluation after this piloting.

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