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Geographical indication protection of “Mường Khương – Bát Xát” for ‘Séng Cù’ rice

On 25 December 2020, Director General of Intellectual Property Office of Viet Nam has issued Decision no. 4909/QĐ-SHTT on granting Geographical indication registration certificate no. 00098 for “Mường Khương - Bát Xát” ‘Séng Cù’ rice. Department of Science and Technology of Lào Cai province is the organization in charge of managing this GI.

‘Séng Cù’ rice is an aromatic rice variety immigrated to Lào Cai province from China via farmers’ personal exchanges. This variety is usually called ‘Séng Cù’, its Chinese common name is ‘Sừ Ly Séng’, and the official name is ‘Plantation 502’. ‘Séng Cù’ rice has been produced in Lào Cai province since 1998, and it is especially good if produced in Bát Xát, Mường Khương, Bảo Yên, Bắc Hà and Simacai areas. The natural conditions of these areas include the altitude of 500 – 1,400 metre, low temperature at 20 - 25oC on average, high variation of temperature between day and night, sunny during the day and misty during the night. Nowadays, the rice has become a specialty of Lào Cai province specifically and all the Northwest region in general. It has high economic value and is favoured by consumers. ‘Séng Cù’ rice production in Lào Cai province has shown that this variety has many favourable traits such as suitability to the natural conditions of the region and to the production level of the locals.

‘Séng Cù’ rice is the pride of the H’Mông, Thái, red Dao, Nùng, etc ethnics in the Northwest region. It is produced in the provinces of Lào Cai, Yên Bái, Điện Biên, etc. Among these, ‘Séng Cù’ rice from the districts of Bát Xát, Bảo Yên, Bắc Hà, Simacai, and Mường Khương of Lào Cai province is regarded as the best thanks to high nutritional values. In 2016, ‘Séng Cù’ rice of Bát Xát district was granted Distinguished Agricultural Product certificate of 2016 by the Standing Committee of Viet Nam Farmer’s Union. And in 2017, ‘Séng Cù’ rice of Lào Cai province was certified as a golden agricultural brand.

‘Séng Cù’ rice field


“Mường Khương - Bát Xát” ‘Séng Cù’ rice is produced in the communes of Trịnh Tường,  Y Tý,  Cốc Mỳ,  Dền Sáng,  Bản Qua,  Mường Vy,  Bản Xèo,  Quang Kim,  Sàng Ma Sáo,  Mường Hum of Bát Xát district; Vĩnh Yên,  Xuân Thượng, Lương Sơn of Bảo Yên district; Tà Chải,  Na Hối,  Nậm Mòn,  Thải Giàng Phố of Bắc Hà district; Nàn Sán,  Bản Mế,  Sín Chéng of Simacai district; Bản Lầu,  Bản Xen,  Tung Chung Phố,  Nậm Lư,  Lùng Khấu Nhìn,  Thanh Bình,  Lùng Vai,  Nậm Chảy and Mường Khương township of Mường Khương district, Lào Cai province. The topography of the area is flat to wavy with the average altitude of 300 to 1,200 metre. The rice is planted concentratedly in the valleys and the bottom steps in staircase rice fields. Being covered by mountain ranges in the Northwest, the area has as specific micro-climate suitable to the development of ‘Séng Cù’ rice. Additionally, the area has its own supply of irrigation water in the form of stream water. Thanks to these elements, ‘Séng Cù’ rice coming from this area has a set of peculiar characteristics which result in its reputation. ‘Séng Cù’ rice production area is under the effect of the tropical monsoon climate. However, as it is situated deep inland, has complex topography, and especially the altitude differences between areas, the areas have different micro-climates. The high temperature variance between day and night in the production area at 4oC to 10oC is a favourable condition for quality, nutritious and tasty rice. The total rainfall of ‘Séng Cù’ production areas fluctuate between 1,650 mm and 1,900 mm. In general, the distribution of rainfall is highly compatible with the development of ‘Séng Cù’s’ main season, which is from May to October. The soils for planting ‘Séng Cù’ rice consist of Illuvium, Gleysols, Acrisols and Dystric Gleysols. The soils are loose, with organic matter content of 1.36 % to 2.65 %, protein content of 0.15 % to 0.25 %, total phosphorus content of 0.11 % to 0.18%, total potassium content of 2.05 % to 3.17 %. All of the high indices result in better development for the plant.

Thanks to the favourable conditions, “Mường Khương - Bát Xát” ‘Séng Cù’ rice is white, thin and long, reasonably aromatic and the chalky kernel percentage of under 10%. The size and weight of ‘Séng Cù’ rice bearing “Mường Khương - Bát Xát” geographical indication is higher than those produced in Yên Bái and Điện Biên provinces, the amount of rice fibre is high and consistent. Protein content of ‘Séng Cù’ rice in the geographical area is 7.14 % to 8.27 %, Vitamin B1 content is 0.041 mg/100g to 0.059 mg/100g, both of which are higher than those of ‘Séng Cù’ rice produced in Điện Biên province. Amylose content of “Mường Khương - Bát Xát” ‘Séng Cù’ rice is average to low at 10.99 % to 14.13 %. Therefore, it has high elasticity, gel consistency at soft level, gelatinisation temperature at low to average level.

The quality of “Mường Khương - Bát Xát” ‘Séng Cù’ rice is also thanks to the production experiences of the local farmers. The farmers have applied technological advances to enhance the productivity as well as the quality of ‘Séng Cù’ rice. They have been proactive in the tending, pests and diseases prevention, limiting production risks, refraining from using chemical fertilisers and pesticides which make ‘Séng Cù’ rice of this area safe. At the same time, the harvest timing when at least 80% of grains are ripe result in the aroma, short cooking time, and the elasticity of the rice which is highly regarded by the consumers.


Center for Examining Geographical Indication and International Trademark