FAO official mourns death of China's "father of hybrid rice"

(Xinhua) 13:06, May 23, 2021

Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), on Saturday expressed his sadness over the death of Yuan Longping, China's "Father of Hybrid Rice."

"Deeply saddened by the death of Prof Yuan Longping, my dear Master. He devoted his life to the research of hybrid rice, helping billions achieve food security," wrote Qu on his Twitter account.

"You were my Inspiration. May you rest in peace," Qu added.

Yuan, a household name in the country for developing the first hybrid rice strain to substantially raise output and save people out of hunger, died of organ failure at the age of 91 on Saturday.

He passed away in the early afternoon in a hospital in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province. Tributes have poured in for the top rice scientist across the nation following the announcement of his death.

Some European media also reported Yuan's death. Spanish international news agency EFE said that "the agronomist was considered a hero in the Asian country because of his first hybrid rice crops."

The academician helped China work a great wonder with his lifelong dedication to reducing hunger -- feeding nearly one-fifth of the world's population with less than 9 percent of the world's total arable land.

(Web editor: Meng Bin, Bianji)


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