(ECNS) - Renowned Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping said saltwater-tolerant rice will be planted on 100 million mu (6.6 million hectares) of saline-alkali land in eight to 10 years.
At the third International Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Forum held in Sanya City of Hainan Province, Yuan said the average yield will be 300 kilograms per mu, meaning China can harvest an additional 30 billion kilograms of rice a year, enough to feed 80 million people.
So-called saltwater rice is designed to grow in tidal flats or other areas with heavy salt content.
The 88-year-old scientist, known as China's "father of hybrid rice", said China has about one billion mu of saline-alkali land.
Yuan added his first dream is to see the cultivation of high-yield rice higher than sorghum with the ears of paddy rice as big as a broom and a grain of rice the size of a peanut. His second dream is to expand the farming of hybrid rice all across the world, increase yield per hectare by two tons, and produce newly added grain sufficient to feed 500 million people.