CHANGSHA — Yuan Longping, renowned Chinese developer of hybrid rice, expressed his confidence on Sept 13 that a hybrid rice yield target projected for 2018 will be met this year.
He said that several demonstration plots had showed potential to produce 16 tonnes of rice per ha.
“I am confident that the fifth-phase target can be achieved this year,” he said at a symposium marking the 20th anniversary of China’s hybrid rice development.
Known as China’s “father of hybrid rice”, Yuan started theoretical research about 50 years ago and kept setting new records in the average yields of hybrid rice plots.
China’s Ministry of Agriculture officially launched hybrid rice breeding program in 1996. Four years later, the first-phase target of 10.5 tonnes per ha was achieved by Yuan’s research team. The fourth-phase target of 15.4 tonnes per ha was hit in 2014.
Currently, farmland under hybrid rice in China has risen to 13.3 million ha while that overseas totaled 5.3 million ha.
About 65 percent of Chinese depend on rice as a staple food.