After Permanent Secretary for Commerce Chutima Boonyapraphatson inspected an organic riceberry rice project in the Ban Wo Kaeo community on Lam Pang province, Thailand on Tuesday 24 November. She found that the riceberry rice fields there had decreased from 260 to 70 Rai due to drought and yielded only 30 tons per year.
Moreover, The permanent secretary said that riceberry rice is popular in foreign markets and plans to promote Riceberry cultivation as it foresaw high demand, as it has high nutritional value while its supply is low in the world market.
So that, the Commerce Ministry aims to increase the total plantation area all over Thailand for the Riceberry rice variety from 5,000 rai to 20,000 rai (3,200 hectares) within three years to serve high demand in the world market for organic rice grains and to increase farmers' incomes as it can bring in twice the price of white rice, according to the strong demand from many countries including China, Germany, Britain, the Netherlands and the United States.
For rice quality, the ministry imposed measures to control riceberry rice after it found that some rice sellers mixed riceberry rice with other varieties of rice and sold it to consumers.
To ensure a good standard for Riceberry, the Ministry of Commerce had a project to encourage farmers to plant 100% riceberry rice and worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in developing standards to assure the quality of the rice.
Riceberry (Oryza sativa) is a purple-pigmented Thai rice that is cross-breed between Hom Nin Rice and Thai Hom Mali 105 Rice by Kasetsart University, Thailand.
It is a source of gamma-oryzanol, beta-carotene, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B2, anthocyanins and total phenolic compounds. Furthermore, the bran extracted from Riceberry was evaluated in human cancer cell lines from colon, breast and blood.
A study shows that the darker the grain, the higher the antioxidant. When compare with various fruit drink or green tea, this rice bran has almost 100 times more antioxidant.