In fact, the Cambodia produces multiple varieties of jasmine rice including Phka Romdeng, Phka Romeat, and Phka Rumduol but lacks a single brand name which can differentiate its Jasmine Rice varieties from other jasmine rice varieties available in the international market. The Cambodian government and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) are working separately to come up with a brand name that could distinguish Cambodian jasmine rice from the Thai jasmine rice. Currently, however, all the varieties of jasmine rice are known as Cambodian Fragrant Rice in the international market.
According to the CRF’s reports that inconsistent labeling of Cambodian jasmine rice was diminishing the collective strength of the country’s rice sector. Thus, the Federation has set up a market promotion executive committee for finalizing a common brand name which would be announced in the meeting of the Cambodia Rice Forum to be held in November. Further, the Ministry of Agriculture has suggested using “Cambodia Jasmine Phka Rumduol” as the sole brand name for Cambodian jasmine rice varieties in the international markets.
The Director General of Department for Agriculture has urged to all exporters to use this name “Cambodia Jasmine Phka Rumduol” which should be forwarded. However, some leading rice exporters noted that calling all varieties as Phka Rumduol would be misleading to consumers. So, some exporters prefer another name that could cover all the varieties commonly. These exporters have also observed that the government should also consider the exporters’ opinion, before finalizing new brand name. In this context, officials of the Commerce Ministry told that regardless of the name, Cambodian rice needs more effective marketing too in order to educate buyers and to boost jasmine rice exports.
As per USDA estimates Cambodia is to export around 1.1 million tons of rice (including official and unofficial rice exports to Vietnam and Thailand) in 2015, which is about 10% more from an estimated 1 million tons in 2014.