The team of renowned agronomist Yuan Longping on Friday said they planned to plant saline-alkali tolerant rice to transform 6.7 million hectares of saline-alkali land in China over the next eight to 10 years.
The team led by Yuan, dubbed China's "father of hybrid rice," said they had already signed contracts to reclaim 400,000 hectares of saline-alkali land in China.
The announcement was made at a conference on saline-alkali soil rice held in the city of Sanya, south China's Hainan Province.
Yuan's team successfully developed varieties of saline-alkali tolerant rice in 2017, with the highest average yield of over 800 kg per mu, or 12 tonnes per hectare, recorded in Jiangsu Province last year.
China has about 100 million hectares of saline-alkali soil, of which about one-fifth could be ameliorated to arable soil.