An 81-year-old Chinese scientist reportedly developed the latest “super rice” breed that yield more than 16 tons per 2.5 acres double the current output (average 7 tons). Known as China’s “father of hybrid rice,” Yuan Longping crossbred the world’s first hybrid rice in 1974.
“Everybody knows that rice is a main food source. It is the staple food for more than half of the world’s population and more than 60 percent of China’s population, he told NDTV. “Therefore, it is of great importance to improve rice output and guarantee China’s food security.”
The “super rice” is grown in half of China’s paddy fields, producing over 60 percent of China’s total rice production. Farmer attributes yield increase to genetically modified technology.
“This technology saves water and fertilizer and improves the yield. We only need to apply fertilizer once during its whole growth. The total output this year is the highest in history,” said Fang Lifeng, Greenpeace Food and Agriculture Campaigner.
Lifeng said Yuan Longping’s hybrid rice has been very well promoted in many other countries, especially in Africa. It offers a solution, or at least makes great contribution to the world’s food security.
“I think it is worth it to further promote his technology. On the other hand, I haven’t observed any of such advantages with genetically modified rice.”
Since 2009, the Chinese “super rice” has been grown in various regions of the world, including the United States, India and Vietnam.