Myanmar’s parboiled rice exports are likely to surge to 300,000 tonnes in the fiscal year 2014-15, which starts from April, said the Myanmar Rice Industry Association.

The figure is up almost nine times from the mere 30,000 tonnes shipped abroad in the previous fiscal year.

Apart from the increasing foreign demand for parboiled rice, the government is keen on increasing the local market for the food source.
It is raising the capacity of parboiled rice to sell in the country to 300,000 tonnes per annum, according to the Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation.

The government has completed 90 percent of construction of new parboiled mills, which are expected to be ready before the monsoon harvest.

Ten imported steam-rice machines from Japan, which can produce up to 1,800 tonnes of parboiled rice per day, are being installed in these mills. Rice mills with smaller capacities of 50 tonnes and 100 tonnes per day are also being constructed.

Additionally, the Health Ministry and the Rice Miller Association of Myanmar have launched a campaign to promote the local consumption of parboiled rice due to the health and cost benefits.

The association’s secretary, U Thaung Win, said that parboiled rice is more nutritious as it contains vitamin C, adding that it is 15 percent cheaper than white rice. Parboiled rice is produced by steaming and drying the grain before it is crushed, retaining its nutrients unlike white rice, which has more broken rice content. In addition, the vitamin B1 content in white rice is reduced when rinsed, but not in parboiled rice.-VNA