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Father of hybrid rice says he won’t retire

(People's Daily Online)    14:31, October 15, 2019

“Because China helps them to develop hybrid rice, African countries will have a bright future tomorrow,” Yuan Longping told an interview with the press in English in the central Chinese city of Changsha on Oct. 12.

Yuan, a winner of China's national medal and also known as China’s “father of hybrid rice”, said he won’t retire; instead, he will feel depressed if he has nothing to do after retirement.

He has encouraged young generations to have noble ideals and make contributions to the society and the people.

Yuan turns 89 years old this year. He told the media that his doctor told him that he has little risk of dementia as he still has no problem adding two 2-digit numbers.

Since the 1980s, Yuan's team has offered training courses in Africa countries, providing a robust source of food to people in areas with a high risk of famine.

Yuan Longping accompanies visitors from Madagascar on a tour to the hybrid rice field in Changsha, Hunan province in 2008. (Photo/CRI online)

With assistance from Yuan's team, a hybrid crop variety produced a harvest of 10.8 tons per hectare in Madagascar this year, far exceeding the yield of local rice. Furthermore, the average yield of the hybrid rice planted in Kenya is four to five times greater than that of conventional varieties.

Related: 

Profile: Yuan Longping, father of hybrid rice

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