New super rice coming to boost output, combat hunger

10:32, September 09, 2010      

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The country's plan of developing new super rice is expected to be completed in 2012 with output per mu exceeding 900 kilograms, Yuan Longping, known as father of hybrid rice, said Wednesday in Beijing.

  If done by 2012, it would be three years ahead of the schedule set by the Ministry of Agriculture. There remains great potential for rice output increases by means including improving soil quality and farming techniques.

  "Currently the most effective and economical way is to develop hybrid rice that is based on previous successful examples," Yuan, director of the China National Hybrid Rice Research Center and an academician of the ChineseAcademy of Engineering, said at the 21st Century Forum held in Beijing ended Wednesday.

  If hybrid rice can be planted on half of the world's rice cropland, an output increase of 150 million tons per year is expected, which could feed 400-500 million more people, Yuan said, who estimated the world's rice output could rise 60 percent by 2030 compared with 1995.

  The country's achievements in developing hybrid rice reflects the fact that China is already a global leader in the fields of science and technology, said Bjorn O. Nilsson, president of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

  The country's basic science research, vital to technological innovation, is still a long distance away from the world's advanced level, Cao Jianlin, vice minister for Science and Technology pointed out.

  China's investment in research and development (R&D) totaled around 550 billion yuan ($81 billion) in 2009. The R&D investment makes up 1.62 percent of the GDP. The proportion of investment, however, into basic research over the overall R&D is less than 5 percent, according to Cao.

  Sustainable development requires technology, which means there will have to be cap-ital put in fundamentals and innovation, Nilsson commented.

Source: Global Times


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