Saturday, November 25, 2006

the man who fed China

recognition by netizens for the man behind high-yield hybrid rice in China.

excerpt from China Daily:

"Yuan, dubbed the 'father of hybrid rice', is an eminent agricultural researcher and was the first in the world to discover that hybrid rice yields a larger harvest, better resists disease and grows faster than non-hybrid rice.

This discovery helped solve China's food shortage of the 1960s and 1970s, and answered the question of the world in the late 1990s when some western politicians and scholars were worried that China's large population would trigger a worldwide famine, according to a Xinhuah report published on February 18, 2005.

Yuan began his research on hybrid rice in the 1960s, and achieved a major scientific breakthrough when he successfully developed the genetic materials essential for breeding high-yielding hybrid rice varieties in 1973.

He and his team produced a commercial hybrid rice variety based on his 'three-line system' hybrid rice theory in 1974, and gave it to nearly half of the rice production area in China.

Rice production in China increased by 500 billion kilograms using Yuan's growing techniques. The annual increase in production was enough to feed 60 million people for one year.

In 1979, the hybrid rice technique became the first Chinese technical patent in agriculture that was exported to the US.

On November 24, 2006, Yuan released a new variety of 'super rice' at a news conference in Hunan Province, which could yield a record 800 kilograms every mu (one fifteenth of a hectare)."

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