Vietnam’s medicinal rice selling like hot cakes

Rice with a high nutrition content, known as medicinal rice, developed by some Vietnamese food companies, has been selling well in Vietnam and the world market.

In late September, Docimexco collected all the Ngoc do huong dua (Red gem with pineapple flavor) fresh rice harvested by Dinh An Cooperative in Dong Thap province at VND7,000 per kilo. The price was far higher than the other specialty rice varieties, including Jasmine, sold for VND5,200 per kilo.

Tran Quoc Nam, general director of Docimexco, said in Tuoi Tre that the trading company bought all the harvested rice to fulfill contracts signed with partners from France, the UK, Italy, Switzerland and Turkey.

“It is sold for US$750-US$800 per ton,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jasmine, also a specialty rice variety, can be sold for US$$530 per ton.

Ngoc do huong dua was accidentally discovered by Nguyen Anh Dung, the cooperative’s director in 2012, when he kept a close watch over the development of LD2012 rice variety on the fields. Dung then found that the rice has red grain and has natural pineapple flavor.

vietnam’s medicinal rice selling like hot cakes hinh 0

Dung decided to grow the rice variety on a trial basis on one hectare of land in the 2014 autumn-winter crop. 

Since people said what most attracts them in the rice is the pineapple flavor, Dung decided to name it Ngoc do huong dua, which means the gem with red color and pineapple flavor.

Ngoc do huong dua is one of the new specialty rice varieties developed recently by Vietnamese scientists and cooperatives.

Loc Troi Group, for example, has Vibigaba, suitable to diabetes patients.

Loc Troi’s president Huynh Van Thon said on VnExpress that the rice is produced on the basis of BN1 variety which the company has developed after three years of conducting research.

Thon went on to say that Loc Troi is working on a new rice variety beneficial to human health, which helps stabilize blood sugar level, prevent atherosclerosis and provide high nutrients. 

Meanwhile, Vo Minh Khai, director of Vien Phu Trade and Production, said the company has marketed an organic Japonica brown rice. The rice can help regulate blood pressure, help people have deep sleep and support cardiovascular health.

Vien Phu now churns out 11 rice products of different kinds, including the organic black sprout gaba rice, priced at VND100,000 per kilo.

Hoa, a housewife in Binh Thanh district in Ho Chi Minh City, said her family members previously only favored Thai fragrant rice. However, they have shifted to use medicinal rice for the last six months.

“A kilo of medicinal rice is priced at VND40,000, twice as much as normal rice. But it is affordable. Besides, it is safe for my mother, who suffers from diabetes,” she said.