North Korean officials visit Golden Rice factory

Wednesday, 07 November 2012

A delegation of eight North Korean government officials, including a secretary of state in North Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, along with a Cambodian agriculture official, visited the Golden Rice (Cambodia) rice milling factory in Kampong Speu province on Nov. 7, aiming to learn about rice producers in theKingdom.

“I’ve brought the North Korean delegation to Golden Rice (Cambodia) because it is one of the high-quality rice producers in Cambodia,” said Uch Sothy, deputy director at the Plant Protection and Phytosanitary Inspection Office.

This is not the first time that the Agriculture Ministry has recommended foreign guests interested in agricultural product processing visit Golden Rice. In October 2010, delegates from ASEAN and East Asian countries, including Japan, China and South Korea, visited the factory at the occasion of the ASEAN agriculture ministers’ meeting that year.

During the visit, Golden Rice Vice- President Sok David presented the company’s rice products and showed how rice is processed in the factory. The delegation saw the entire process at the milling plant and each department including its modern silos, production line and quality-control lab, which raised the officials’ interest.

“It’s very impressive to see how the factory processes rice here,” a Korean official, who declined to give his name, told Economics Today during the visit.

The North Korean ministry’s senior official didn’t leave any comment, but Uch Sothy said that he and his officials appeared to find the factory quite interesting.

“They had planned to take only 30 minutes for the visit, but they spent more than one hour to visit and keep posing questions to the Golden Rice vicepresident,” he said.

Sok David said it was a great honor for Golden Rice to be chosen as an example among Cambodian rice millers and to host the delegation.

“We appreciate the cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries with the rice milling industry, and Golden Rice wants to participate in showing the world how great Cambodian rice is,” he said.

Golden Rice (Cambodia) has specialized in exporting high-quality rice products since 2009. It has the capacity to process more than 100,000 tons of paddy per year. Last September, the company won the “World’s Best Rice” award for 2012 on behalf of Cambodia at the World Rice Conference, an international flagship meeting in the rice industry, in Bali, Indonesia.

The company has been selected by the Ministry of Agriculture and international organizations to receive various international visitors and to showcase its products and the modern rice milling process.