Vietnam’s ST25 Rice Reclaims Title of World’s Best Rice

ST25 rice from Vietnam is renowned for its exceptional sweetness and smoothness, which effortlessly captivate the palate.

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Vietnam’s ST25 fragrant rice variety named Gao Ong Cua (Ong Cua Rice) successfully surpassed 30 rice samples from 10 countries to win the World’s Best Rice 2023 award on November 30, VOV reported.

This is the second time that the local product has been given the title.

Vietnam's ST25 Rice Again Named World's Best Rice
Agronomist Ho Quang Cua and Vietnamese delegates received the World’s Best Rice 2023 award for ST25 rice variety at the World Rice Conference Summit in the Philippines.

According to the results, the Vietnamese rice variety won first prize for the World’s Best Rice 2023 competition and was duly honored at the World Rice Conference Summit held in the Philippines.

There are 3 Vietnamese businesses submitting entries this year including Ho Quang Tri private enterprise (ST24 and ST25 rice), Loc Troi (Loc Troi 28 and Nang Hoa 9 rice) and Thaibinh Seed (Nep A Sao and TBR39-I rice).

Unlike every year, the organizing committee did not award the first prize to a specific type of rice sent by Vietnam, but “honored Vietnamese rice in general”.

Second and third prizes went to the Cambodian and Indian rice varieties, says Rice Trader, a founder and owner of the competition.

Previously, Vietnamese rice ST25 also won the World’s Best Rice award back in 2019. The local rice variety was also awarded second prize at the World’s Best Rice Contest 2020 in the United States and was named among the Top 4 of the World’s Best Rice 2022.

Vietnam's ST25 Rice Again Named World's Best Rice
Both ST24 and ST25 were developed in Vietnam by farmer-scientist Cua and his colleagues and have won international prizes.

ST25 is a type of rice that is very sweet and smooth creating a flavor that easily attracts the taste.

The ST25 rice variety was developed by a group of Soc Trang-based agricultural engineers led by Ho Quang Cua, former deputy director of the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department.

It took nearly 12 years to create the ST25 variety, according to agronomist Ho Quang Cua, who has been conferred with the noble title Labor Hero.

The Soc Trang (ST) rice research team was formed in 2002 with members comprising Ho Quang Cua, Dr. Tran Tan Phuong, and agronomist Nguyen Thi Thu Huong. They worked on crossbreeding rice varieties imported from Taiwan, Bangladesh, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Thailand, and domestic varieties.

But it was not until 2004 that they produced the desired variety and released it in 2009. The variety later won the “Golden Rice Ear” award.

In 2017, the group’s ST24 variety won the first prize at a rice festival in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang. The variety later earned a place among the world’s best three rice varieties at an event held in Macau (China).

In 2019, the ST24 rice variety was crowned the best in the world at The Rice Trader World Rice Conference 2019 in the Philippines.

The ST24 variety again won prizes at the third Vietnam Rice Festival in 2018. The following year, the Vietnam Food Association selected ST24 and ST25 for the 11th Annual World’s Best Rice Contest in the Philippines in November. Both varieties were named among the top group, and ST25 was chosen for the first prize.

ST25 rice has been also exported to a number of other markets, such as Sweden and Germany. Its presence in Japan, one of the most demanding markets in the world, is a testament to its quality and creates more opportunities for producers and traders.

Hannah Nguyen