Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu (right) and agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, known as the "father of hybrid rice", check a crop in Sanya, Hainan province, on April 9, 2013. They announced the launch of a project to breed new super rice strains with expected yields of 15 tons per hectare, well above the world average of 4 tons. [Guo Liliang / For China Daily]
New super rice strains with an expected yield of 15 tons per hectare could be developed in three years, Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping said on Friday.
A scientific research project, undertaken by Yuan, to develop the new super rice strains was launched in South China’s Hainan province earlier this month.

The project had been expected to realize its target within five to eight years, but now the target could be achieved in three years, said Yuan, known as the "father of hybrid rice" for developing the first hybrid rice varieties in the 1970s.
China now grows 17 million hectares of hybrid rice, with a yield of 7.5 tons per hectare. China is now able to produce 13.5 tons of hybrid rice per hectare, but the technology has yet to be further applied.
The project will help China maintain its largely self-sufficient supply of rice, a staple food for more than 60 percent of its population, over the next few decades, experts said.
SOURCE: China Daily
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