Chinese hybrid rice benefits the world

(Photo/Xinhua)

With high yield and superior quality, Chinese hybrid rice varieties have been introduced around the world, benefiting more people.

Hybrid rice started to go abroad in 1979. Back then, the ministry of agriculture presented 1.5 kg of hybrid rice seeds to the Occidental Petroleum Corporation, an American oil and gas exploration and production company. The yield of the hybrid rice was over 33 percent more than that of local varieties.

Since then, China has continued to work with the US on hybrid rice research. This year, hybrid rice accounted for 60 percent of the total rice area in America, said Yuan Longping, a pioneer in hybrid rice research who has been invited to the US several times to share the hybrid breeding technology.

The technology has since spread to more countries. The hybrid rice research center in central China’s Hunan province and a local agriculture company have jointly held nearly 100 international workshops on hybrid rice technology and trained over 10,000 technicians from around 80 developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Yuan said that to date, the overseas planting area of hybrid rice has exceeded 7 million hectares, with India owning the largest area of more than 2 million hectares.

Hybrid rice is produced by crossbreeding different varieties of rice. The average yield of hybrid rice is at least 20 percent more than that of regular rice, feeding 70 million more Chinese people annually, Yuan said.