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Chinese rice contributes to global food security

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-01-26 22:07

A harvester reaps rice on a farm in Anqing, Anhui province, on Nov 26. [Photo by Li Long/For China Daily]

HEFEI - After a journey of more than ten days, hundreds of tons of hybrid rice seeds from East China's Anhui province arrived in Pakistan in January. These seeds will take root in the land there in May.

"We exported nearly 5,000 tons of hybrid rice seeds to Pakistan every year, and the yield of some varieties reached 800 kg per mu (0.067 hectares), about 30 percent higher than local varieties," said Jiang Sanqiao, vice general manager of Win-all Hi-tech Seed Co Ltd, the producer of these seeds.

Besides Pakistan, the company also exported hybrid rice seeds to several other countries, including Bangladesh and Angola, Jiang added.

As the largest food producer and the third largest food exporter in the world, China has dedicated itself to promoting Chinese rice seeds and planting techniques to more countries and contributing its share to the safeguarding of global food security.

In 1979, hybrid rice began to be introduced to the world, benefiting nearly 70 countries across five continents. This has been a remarkable contribution to their grain output increase and agricultural development and offered a Chinese solution to food shortages in developing countries.

"Chinese hybrid rice seeds are high-yield and are more drought resistant. I can earn 100,000 Pakistani rupees ($426) from planting one season of hybrid rice," said Zizam Jagsi, a Pakistani farmer who buys over 800 kg of Chinese hybrid rice seeds each year.

While promoting high-yield rice varieties, China is also sharing agricultural techniques and strengthening scientific cooperation with other countries, to help cultivate rice varieties that are more suited to the local conditions.

After years of research and testing, Botswana launched a ceremony to celebrate the harvest of Chinese water-saving and drought-resistant rice in the southern African country last year.

This rice variety is also more adaptable and environmentally friendly. Now, this variety has been introduced to 11 African countries, bringing higher yields and income to local farmers.

"We have been developing rice varieties based on the local climate and hope the Chinese rice varieties can help African countries achieve food self-sufficiency as soon as possible," said Liu Zaochang, a researcher with the Shanghai Agrobiological Gene Center, who is also one of the members of the development team of the water-saving and drought-resistant rice.

To promote hybrid rice planting techniques, China has sent a large number of agricultural experts to dozens of countries and regions.

In 2015, Win-all Hi-tech Seed Co Ltd established a branch in Bangladesh to cultivate new rice varieties and launch scientific cooperation with local people.

Lian Chengye, general manager of the branch company, said that they launched a new project in 2022, which includes establishing scientific laboratories, a storage house for seeds, and a seeds processing workshop, aiming to promote advanced agricultural technologies in Bangladesh.

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