According to the latest reports, it has been indicated that the Commerce Ministry will cooperate with exporters to promote the sale of Thai rice in Singapore, focusing on Hom Mali (jasmine) rice, speciality rice grains, and products made from rice. In this matter, it has been revealed that the Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn will lead rice exporters to Singapore from July 26-28, as that market has high purchasing power and could be a spring board for export of Thai rice to other countries. Further, it has been stated that in an attempt to increase the value of rice export, the government will set up a strategy to promote rice in various markets and the Singapore is one of the targeted markets for increasing sales of Thai rice as it is a main staple food and its consumers have high purchasing power.
During the mission, it has been described that Apiradi will meet with rice importers in Singapore and survey the modern traders and restaurants in the country on the feasibility of getting them to sell Thai rice. Besides Hom Mali rice, the ministry will also promote other speciality grains such as Rice berry, Sung Yod rice (GI products) and organic rice. In addition, the products made from rice will also be promoted, such as cooked rice for senior people, vitamin-added rice for children, cosmetics, snacks and supplements, aiming to increase value-added for rice exports.
As per reports indicates, the Singapore is a major importer of rice from Thailand and favors Hom Mali rice.In 2014, Thailand exported 162,977 tonnes of rice to Singapore worth Bt4.3 billion. The volume dropped to 128,941 tonnes worth Bt3.63 billion last year. Further, it has been explained that in the first five months of this year, export volume dropped 7.9 per cent to 51,194 tonnes, while value dropped 11 per cent to Bt1.34 billion. It was told by Apiradi that producers should focus more on adding value to agricultural products including rice. The government will also support innovation in the rice industry by setting up the country's first rice institute for commercial operations. It has been stressed that rice can be developed as a value-added "super food" in the form of various products. In these aspects, the commercial rice institute would contribute to adding value to rice so that farmers would receive more income.