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GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION OF “MƯỜNG LÒ” FOR RICE PROTECTED

On 22 January 2018, NOIP has issued granting Geographical indication registration certificate no. 00061 for the famous “Mường Lò” rice...

On 22 January 2018, the National Office of Intellectual Property of Viet Nam issued the Decision No. 264/QD-SHTT on granting Geographical Indication registration certificate No. 00061 for the famous “Mường Lò” rice. Nghĩa Lộ Town People’s Committee is the organization in charge of managing this GI.

The saying “first Thanh, second Lò, third Than, fourth Tấc” has long been in the mind of the North western people. As one of the four major valleys famous for beautiful scenery and fresh air, Mường Lò is ranked second after Mường Thanh of Điện Biên province, above Mường Than of Than Uyên district, Lai Châu province and Mường Tấc of Phù Yên district, Sơn La province. Mường Lò has Dystric Gleysols soil formulated millions of years ago by the rivers of Ngòi Thia, Ngòi Nung, Suối Đôi and tens of minor streams which brought alluvial for the mountains, and formed the renowned Mường Lò with mountain-ebony flower, Mường Lò rice, five-colour sticky rice... “Tú Lệ stickyrice, Mường Lò rice” have made its name and is widely known in the cuisine culture.  The rice’s reputation is widespread and even appearsin nice poems:

 

“If you want white rice and clear water

Climb through the Ách Pass to reach Mường Lò”

“Mường Lò has white rice and clear water

Whoever comes will have no desire to leave”

The field of Mường Lò in harvest season

Among the rice varieties of Mường Lò, Séng Cù and Hương Chiêm are main and good quality varieties that make up the reputation of Mường Lò rice.

Séng Cù rice is thin and long, firm, consistent and hard to break. The rice’s colour is opaque white, slightly shiny, the aroma is pleasantly strong and average length of the seed is 6,71  ± 0,2 (mm). Carbohydrate content is 81,64 ± 1,11 (%), protein content is 8,71 ±  0,31 (%), amylose content is 17,13 ±  0,31 (%), gelatinisation temperature is 63 ± 2,1 (oC).

Séng Cù Mường Lò rice

Hương Chiêm rice is small, thin and long, and hard to break. Average length is 5,67  ± 0,13 (mm). It has white or opaque white colour. The rice’s aroma is slightly to strongly pleasant. Carbohydrate content is 82,21 ± 0,78 (%), protein content is 8,9 ±  0,31 (%), amylose content is 19,08 ±  0,28 (%), gelatinisation temperature is 66 ± 1,5 (oC).

Hương Chiêm - Mường Lò rice

The reputation of Mường Lò rice exists as time goes by thanks to the geographical area suitable for the development of rice plants and accumulated experience of the locals.

The geographical area is located in an ancient land, surrounded by the Hoàng Liên Sơn ridge, inside a trough valley, is relatively flat and at the altitude of 250 metre above sea level. Total annual average rainfall is 1.400 - 1600 mm. Annual average temperature is 23,2oC. Annual average humidity is approximately 80%. Annual average sunlight time is 1,800 hours. Amplitude of temperature variation between day and night is 8 - 14oC. The amplitude of temperature variation between day and night iscrucial to the photosynthesis and fiber accumulation of the rice. High variation promotes the protein accumulation, the transformation and accumulation of aromatic phenol in the rice. Therefore, Mường Lò’s Séng Cù and Hương Chiêm rice both have pleasantly strong aroma and high protein content. The soil in the geographical area is alluvium built up over the years and metamorphosed yellow-red soil due to rice plantation, the humus layer is relatively thick, and the layers are heavily weathered. Nutrition content of the soil is fair to rich, in which, total Sodium content is 0,145 - 0,21%, total K2O content is 1,05 - 1,41%, soluble Sodium content is 0,142 - 0,21%, organic matter is 1,98 - 2,95%, rich soluble K2O content at 89,51 - 115,46 mg/kg, rich soluble P2O5 content at 68,08 - 88,35 mg/kg. The soil is non-drainage alluvial gleysol, resulting in low pHKCL at 3,01 - 4,01. Thanks to the richness in important nutrition content in the soil, in which total Sodium, soluble Sodium, total K2O, soluble K2O, soluble P2O5 and OM are all fair to rich, especially the high soluble K2O and P2O5, aromatic rice such as Séng Cù and Hương Chiêm here have protein and carbohydrate content as well as stronger aroma comparing to other areas’.

The flat terrain and irrigation system of Mường Lò

Experience of the locals is also a significant part of Mường Lò rice’s growing reputation. After long settlement in Mường Lò, the Thái Đen ethnics have accumulated a vast local knowledge in rice planting, combining with the rules in protecting the water supply, environment, and endangered species for a sustainable agricultural development. Since early times, the Thái ethnics have acquired knowledge on building one of the most advanced and professional irrigation system for rice harvesting. Using knives and shovels, they have created kilometres of ditches to bring water to every paddies in the area. Along with the ditches are the “phai”, a dam system made from bamboo and rocks to stop the stream water from mixing with the water in the ditches. The “lái” (smaller ditches) and the “lin” (water pipes made from bamboo) provide adequate irrigation to all paddies. Moreover, the use of straw ash to fertilise the soil, and the use of duckweed to keep the rice warm in the winter are still practiced by the locals. The making and use of organic fertilisers help not only the development of the rice but also the protection of the water supply and environment. Along with the traditional technique, the people of Mường Lò also apply new, advanced technique in tending, harvesting and processing the rice for a quality product.

The geographical areas: The wards of Trung Tâm, Tân An, Pú Trạng, Cầu Thia, and communes of Nghĩa An, Nghĩa Phúc, Nghĩa Lợi of Nghĩa Lộ town, and communes of Thanh Lương, Thạch Lương, Sơn A, Hạnh Sơn, Phúc Sơn, Phù Nham of Văn Chấn district, Yên Bái province.

Geographical Indication and International Trademark Division