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Sunday, October 01, 2000, updated at 19:36(GMT+8)

Genetic Tech to Furnish China Corn Output Increase

Genetic technology, instead of chemical fertilizer, will help realize an increase in the amount of corn produced in China in the coming years, expert said.

It is unlikely to achieve an increase in corn output using chemical fertilizer since it has been widely used and, in some areas, has reached a "usage saturation point," said Dai Jingrui, a corn expert. Genetic improvement technology will replace chemical fertilizer and be the main force in increasing corn production, he added.

It is predicted by national agricultural organizations that China will need 160 billion kilograms of corn in 2005. To meet the demand, China's corn production should increase annually by 10 kilograms per mu (0.06 hectare) if corn field keeps its area at its current 375 million mu (75 million hectares). This increased rate surpasses that of the past 50 years.

China's corn production increased from 1,350 kilograms per hectare to 5,203 within 44 years between 1952 and 1996. But the increase was mainly made by the use of chemical fertilizer, while the genetic contribution was less than 40 percent.

The country began genetic research on corn in 1920s and almost stood at the same level as the United States. Corn seeds cultivated using genetic technology developed fast since the founding of the People' Republic of China in 1949, according to experts.

In the mid-1980s, Chinese researchers produced a corn species with a high oil content, having the highest oil proportion in the world. China set up a corn genetic engineering project system in 1995, and will soon realize large-scale commercial production of genetically modified pest-free corn.


Shanghai to Focus on Service and Hi-tech Industries

Shanghai, China's largest port city, will develop services and high-tech industries at the 21st century to increase competitiveness.

Pu Zaiming, a senior official in charge of the city's economic restructuring, told reporters that information, financial services, commercial distributions, automobile production, equipment and real estate will become the six pillar industries dominating the city's economic development in the new century.

Meanwhile, developing Shanghai's steel and petro-chemical production should be a priority.

Shanghai will also try to establish itself as the center of sea and air transportation in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the nation's export and import center in the coming years.

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Genetic technology, instead of chemical fertilizer, will help realize an increase in the amount of corn produced in China in the coming years, expert said.

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