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Hybrid Rice Can Increase Crop Yield, To Feed a Growing World

Nov. 7, 2016 (EIRNS)—One of the important discussions that took place at a meeting on Saturday, Nov. 5 in Kunming, China, was held among agriculture ministers from the China-Central and Eastern Europe countries, (CCEE). Under consideration was the critical contribution to ending world hunger that can be made by hybrid rice. As reported in today’s Global Times, China’s "father of hybrid rice," Yuan Longping, stated that hybrid rice could help feed 70 million more people worldwide.

"Hybrid rice will play an important role in the new century," Yuan said, "in terms of food safety and the furtherance of world peace." Statistics reported in the article, from the United Nations Food Program, which most likely underestimate the problem, though still dramatic, show that about 795 million people do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life.

Yuan took on the argument by critics who say that the focus should be more on quality than quantity, to which he replied that both should be improved. The "green" argument was presented, that the hybrid rice should not be promoted because it requires fertilizer and pesticides, which harm the "environment." (Never mind the "environment" of starving people...)

Yuan reports that hybrid rice can increase crop yield by 20%.

"Rice is the staple food for more than half of the world’s population," he said. Rising population will require a 60% increase in rice production by 2030. Today, a one-hectare rice field can sustain 27 people. "That number has to reach 43 by 2050," he calculated. Today, about half of China’s rice fields use hybrid rice species, producing 60% of the rice. Using Yuan’s hybrid rice, China has increased output from 5.69 billion tons in 1950, to 19.47 billion tons last year.

According to Yuan, more than 4,000 technicians and agricultural officials from more than 100 countries have had training at the China National Hybrid R&D Center in central Hunan Province. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sent congratulations to the meeting, in which he said that China will align its development strategies with the CEE countries

"and share development experiences to further promote the level of agricultural cooperation, and bring benefits to the people of all these countries."

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