Madagascar turns to hybrid rice

China Daily | Updated: 2023-07-17 09:57
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Farmers harvest hybrid rice cultivated on a demonstration field in Madagascar on April 26. GU PENGBO/ZHOU YUEGUI/FOR CHINA DAILY

With China's help, the African island nation has ambitions to meet food security needs

The long rainy season has finally ended, and the cool, pleasant dry season has arrived in the central highlands of Madagascar.

At the branch of the China National Hybrid Rice Engineering Research Center in the town of Mahitsy, on the outskirts of the capital city Antananarivo, hybrid rice is ready to be harvested.

Farmers lift the stalks up high and thresh them vigorously, causing the plump grains to fly into the air, filling it with the scent of rice.

As in southern China, rice is the staple food of Madagascar, and the grain has been grown there for a long time. However, due to the lack of high-quality rice seeds and advanced growing techniques, rice production in the country is not fully able to meet people's needs.

Since 2007, China has been working with Madagascar on hybrid rice technology. Some 20 agricultural experts from Hunan province have visited the island's tropical rainforests, highlands and grasslands, sowing hybrid seeds from southern China in every important rice-producing region, helping the Madagascans achieve their dream of self-sufficiency.

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