On 6th May 2014 – Khun Sompong Panthong from the Phuket Agriculture and Cooperative Office held a press conference to announce a new rice variety being grown in Phuket. Also in attendance at the conference were Khun Somchai Sakulchit from Phuket Agricultural Council and the head of the government’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Khun Sompong said “Rice farming has long been a part of Phuket’s culture with many households cultivating rice for their own consumption. To support agro-tourism and create more revenue to farmers the rice farming groups are joining together and are to establish a rice milling community. The group’s leaders have expert knowledge in the area of rice farming and can spread their knowledge on to others. In addition, they are also encouraging the growing of a new variety of rice to Phuket named “Rice Berry”, a cross-bred unmilled rice possessing dark violet grain, which is a combination of Hom Nin Rice, with well-known antioxidant properties, and Thai Hom Mali Rice, also known as Thai Jasmine/ Fragrant Rice or KhaoDawk Mali.”
Rice Berry contains three times more iron than other varieties. And not only does it contain a high level of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, gamma oryzanol, vitamin E and folic acid (folate) in itself, it also becomes soft and is aromatic when its cooked, which is the outstanding trait of Thai Hom Mali Rice.