YUAN Longping, the Father of Hybrid Rice, predicts his latest super-strain with higher yields will be widely planted by 2006.
Yuan, in his seventies, made the remarks on Monday at a celebration held in the central Hunan province in honour of his winning the World Food Prize in October for his outstanding work on hybrid rice.
Yuan projected that, with an experimental production capacity of 12 tonnes per hectare, the country could harvest 15bil kg more of rice, enough to feed another 30mil people.
So far, hybrid rice has been planted in over 14mil hectares, in nearly half of the country's paddy fields.
The first–phase super-strain with an experimental production capacity of 10.5 tonnes per hectare, was sown on just one million hectares this year.
A third–phase super-strain with a higher production capacity is also being developed.
“We will try our best to work out the third–phase super strain by 2010,” said Yuan.
“The cultivation of super hybrid rice is an effective way to provide enough food for the country. However, it still takes time to turn experimental data into grain in peasants' barns,” said Huang Peijin, a prominent agronomist.
Yuan developed the world's first hybrid rice in 1974, increasing output by nearly 20%. – China Daily
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