Chinese high-yielding hybrid rice to be launched in Pakistan
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Chinese high-yielding hybrid rice to be launched in Pakistan

Posted by | August 24, 2017 |

China is all set to commercially launch a hybrid rice variety in Pakistan which has 18 tons per hectare yield or more than 150 maunds per acre.

The revolutionary rice seed was recently developed by the Chinese researchers under the guidance of world’s leading agriculture scientist Professor Yuan Longping, who is commonly known as father of hybrid rice in the world.

The new rice variety would help Pakistani farmers to significantly increase per acre yield and hence the country would be able to export more rice to other countries, including China, in future.

“We will be happy to share the seed variety with Pakistan which is our great friend,” said the octogenarian Professor Yuan in a rare conversation with a group of journalists. The sitting with him was jointly arranged by the Guard Agriculture Research and Services (Pvt) Limited, pioneer in introducing hybrid rice in the country, and China’s top agriculture research company, Yuan Longping Hi-Tech Industries.

Shah Rukh Malik and Rizwan Yousaf, Guard Group’s executives, said, “Currently, China imports 30 per cent to 40 per cent of rice from Pakistan. The new rice variety will help country to enhance rice exports to the neighbouring country in the years to come.”

Hybrid rice variety is being cultivated in some parts of Sindh and Balochistan as the fields in tropical districts of Pakistan are highly friendly for paddy farming. The Guard Group in collaboration with Chinese researchers is making efforts to develop the hybrid variety for Punjab’s regions and at the same time it has launched awareness programs for Sindh and Balochistan farmers to increase the area under hybrid rice.

The average production of presently sown hybrid rice in China and Pakistan is around 7-8 tons per hectares, almost 15 per cent high than the conventional rice’s yield. Terming new variety his lifelong dream, Professor Yuan said the seed was the toughest ever in commercial large scale trials in terms of yield.

The father of hybrid rice is highly regarded in China as well as in the world for his contribution in ending the food crisis in the globe. The United Nations (UN) Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the UN World Intellectual Property Organization, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) honoured him with different titles and awards during past four decades. He received the 2004 World Food Prize for his breakthrough achievement in developing the genetic materials and technologies essential for breeding high-yielding hybrid rice varieties. He continues his innovative scientific work as Director-General of the China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center in Changsha, Hunan Province, China. He is widely acknowledged as the first person to discover how to achieve fast growth with greater yield and stress resistance. In 1964, he happened to find a natural hybrid rice plant that had obvious advantages over others and in 1973, he successfully cultivated a type of hybrid rice species having 15 per cent 20 per cent more yield than the conventional ones.

As area of hybrid rice in the country is about 200,000 hectares ( around 450,000 acres), Professor Yuan believed it could be significantly increased. He encouraged young Pakistani researchers and agriculture scientists to take benefits from the Chinese expertise in the field of agriculture science. He believed Pakistan was good country and had great potential of growth and development.

The Guard Group also organised the visit of ISKY chemicals company which is one of the world’s largest exporters of agri chemicals. Founded in 1994, ISKY is a major supplier of sulphur and related chemicals to Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania. The company management offered its full cooperation to Pakistan in the field of agriculture science.

Source: The Nation. Date: 2017-08-24