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By The Isaander; Weerawat Somnuk, Smanachan Buddhajak, Donlawat Sunsuk, and Somchai Saefad |
<p>The aridity of the Thung Kula Ronghai region&rsquo;s alkaline soil is behind the Hom Mali rice strain&rsquo;s popularity as a world-renowned export. The rice farmers and the special care they put into their production method have succeeded in turning their despair at the unpredictability of the rain cycle into assets. While quite a number of Isaan (northeastern Thai) people prefer sticky rice to regular rice for everyday consumption, the jasmine or &lsquo;Hom Mali 105&rsquo; variety has been grown in Isaan for 70 years. How did the popularity of this particular rice variety come about?</p>