Ghana rejects Myanmar rice
Yangon - Ghana's rejection last month of 15 000 bags of "unwholesome" rice from Myanmar has sparked calls for improved quality controls for the commodity, one of the country's key export items, media reports said on Sunday.
Ghana's Food and Drugs Board last month rejected a shipment of Myanmar rice "for being unwholesome for human consumption", as it was infested with weevils and gave off an offensive smell, the Myanmar Times reported.
Myo Aung Kyaw, a central executive committee member of the Myanmar Rice Industry Association and secretary of the Myanmar Rice Traders Association, said the rejection was a wake-up call for the local industry.
"Africa is a key export market for Myanmar rice, and quality control is a priority, from seeds to finished products," he said.
"If this happens again, Myanmar rice could disappear from the international market. Our rice exporters and traders have to meet international standards," Aung Kyaw told the Myanmar Times.
He said the country needs to ensure that exported rice contains no more than 14% moisture.
"If moisture levels in the rice aren't properly checked, you can get foul odour, caking and discolouration," he said.
As of October 1 2009 halfway through the country's fiscal year which ends on March 31, Myanmar had exported 558 900 tons of rice.