CHANGSHA, (Xinhua) --
Yuan Longping, China’s “father of hybrid
rice,” celebrated his 88th birthday on Friday
by participating in the first International Development
Forum of Rice Production.
At 8 a.m.
Friday, without the assistance of others, Yuan walked on
stage by himself and addressed the forum, which was held
in central China’s Hunan Province, in front of rice
experts from all over the world.
10-minute break, he attended a discussion on development
trends of rice in the world, with famous agricultural
experts including academicians Luo Xiwen and Xie Hua’an,
Japan’s Hiroshi Ikehashi, and Ish Kumar from India.
recovering from an illness, his face lit up when he
spoke of an achievement he had made a few days
earlier—Yuan set a new world record in super hybrid rice
output in Yunnan Province -- 17 tonnes per hectare.
two-thirds of Chinese depend on rice as a staple food.
Yuan, who developed the world’s first hybrid rice in
1974, has set multiple world records in hybrid rice
yield in previous years.
the discussion, Yuan led the experts to a hybrid rice
test field about 20 km away. In the field, he shared his
experience with them as well as officials from the
United Nations World Food Programme.
to China, Yuan’s hybrid rice is being introduced to
relieve grain problems in other parts of the world. The
average yield of the hybrid rice planted in Kenya is
four to five times greater than conventional varieties.
21 students from a dozen countries studying in Hunan
Hybrid Rice Research Center received a graduation
certificate from Yuan. Over the past few decades,
Chinese research institutes and seed enterprises have
not only trained tens of thousands of students from
developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America,
but also sent experts to offer field guidance in those
young man from Nigeria, is one of Yuan’s students.
also developing hybrid rice. But our technology is not
mature enough. Mr. Yuan is very famous in Africa. We’d
all love to take a picture with him,” he said.
At 2 p.m.,
Yuan stepped onto the stage again and delivered a
20-minute keynote speech in English. He said hybrid rice
should be further developed to make contributions to
food safety in the world.
what his birthday wish was after the speech, he said: 18
tonnes per hectare.