Our country in general is a rice-producing country, but ironically, it keeps on importing rice from other countries and has become reliant on imported rice. This is something that local rice farmers could not understand. Why is it that majority of consumers prefer to buy the more expensive rice instead of buying their harvests?
Well, it’s high time for our local rice producers to realize why the majority of consumers prefer to buy the costly imported rice instead of buying their cheaper rice produced. It is primarily because their rice is of poor quality. Yes, it tastes good, especially if it is newly-harvested, but in terms of other aspects, it lags behind compared to the imported rice from Thailand, Vietnam, etc.
The imported rice is usually clean, well-milled, such that every grain is fully intact, and you cannot see them crushed into tiny pieces. It looks so white, too, and when cooked, it tastes good and well preserved. You can instantly cook these imported rice varieties without worrying about other things, such as the need to still clean them prior to cooking.
But the locally-produced rice are of inferior quality in many aspects. First, these local rice varieties are poorly milled. Plenty of the grains are cut and crushed into bits and pieces. Many of them also smell bad perhaps because of poor storage system. They are so “dirty” as well, with rice husks, tipasi as called locally, bird seeds, and worst of all, with numerous tiny pebbles in them. When you cook the local rice without cleaning it first, you would ruin your teeth since you will have to masticate plenty of tiny stones in the rice.
In short, when you buy the local rice, you still have to rid it of so many dirt, including those bits and pieces of tiny stones, and this takes so much time and bother. Why those stones or pebbles? It’s because, farmers are drying their rice harvests on the cement roads and highways, the dust and pebbles of which eventually mix with the rice grains being dried up. Unless they improve their rice production techniques, local rice farmers could never compete with the quality of imported rice, which the consumers prefer to buy.