The elderly people in the Northwestern mountainous areas recount, in the past, there was a famous rich langur who had a strange disease (urinating a lot, his weight increased suddenly, his eyes were blurred, his limbs were numb). He sent people everywhere to find a cure, but it did not heal. Once, on the way to work, a certain official got lost in the jungle. While finding his way out, hungry and thirsty, he met a verdant valley, a field covered with golden rice flowers. The rice fields gave off a sweet aroma that he had never smelled before. The grains of paddy are unusually large and long, and each seed grows a very long beard. He immediately plucked out the strange rice flowers to eat through his hunger. And set up a small tent to stay and rest.

After two moons of the moon, having harvested a sufficient amount of rice, he continued his journey to find his way back. Thanks to the grains of paddy in the middle of the forest, the mandarin finally found his way back to the village. Strangely, when he got home, his illness also improved. He let his servant cultivate the rice variety, named it “Te Rau” – referring to the long beards on the grain. And use Te Rau rice as a remedy against his strange disease. Other wealthy families in the area, after having eaten Te beard rice, found that the rice seeds were soft, sweet and bold, and did not get bored like eating sticky rice, they also asked for the variety of Te Rau rice to grow.

Nowadays, Te Rau rice has become the pride of the Northwestern people. Te Rau rice is very picky, only grows and produces the best quality rice in areas with altitudes from 400 to 1000m above sea level. The climate is mild (from 20-23 degrees C), with cool spring water from the old forest. The yield of Te Rau rice is only half that of the lowland rice varieties, with long cultivation time (from 4 to June), but it produces fragrant, soft, sweet rice by the nutrients of the forest soil. People with diabetes in the Northwest often choose to eat Te Rau rice to eat as a remedy from mother soil to maintain blood sugar at the allowable level.

Te Rau Ruca organic rice has been restored and developed as a commodity by the project: “Economic empowerment for ethnic minority women through the development of the Son La specialty rice market system”. Research Center for Agriculture and Mountainous Development (ADC) – Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry and TABA Social Enterprises have partnered with the GREAT Program of the Australian Embassy to develop Te Rau Ruca organic rice. The rice variety was selected and restored by ADC Center according to the order of Northwest Development Cooperation Center (TABA)