The annual output of China's "super hybrid rice" may soon reach 17 tons per hectare, according to renowned rice scientist Yuan Longping, who is known as China's "father of hybrid rice."
"This year, we are striving for a new target – 1,130 kilograms per mu (about 0.07 hectares), or 17 tons per hectare," Yuan said in a speech on Wednesday at the First International Forum on Rice in Sanya, Hainan Province. "The chance of reaching the 17-ton target is 90 percent."
He added that the Ministry of Agriculture launched a project on super hybrid rice breeding in 1996, adding that the target of 16 tons per hectare was realized in 2015.
About 65 percent of Chinese depend on rice as a staple food. The country's super hybrid rice, boasting remarkably high yields, is produced by crossbreeding different kinds of rice.
Experts from the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the Chinese Academy of Sciences shared their views on innovations of rice breeding and the development of the rice industry at the forum, which attracted more than 500 participants from over ten countries and regions.
More than 500 new varieties of rice will be presented during the forum, lasting from Tuesday to Friday.