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China's New Salt Tolerant Rice, or "Sea Rice," Soon Ready for
Commercialization; Can Boost Food for 200 Million People

Oct. 21 --A strain of rice already successfully hybridized
by Chinese agronomists to grow in salty conditions, has now been
further improved to give higher yields, up to 4.5 metric tons per
hectare. This can translate into feeding 200 million more people,
according to China's hybridization expert, Yuan Lingpin, who is
known as the "Father of Hybrid Rice," for his breakthrough work
since the 1970s. The latest updates are reported in Sputnik
today.
The new strain of sea-rice can grow where water salinity is
up to 6%; for reference, sea water is 4%. The seed breeds true,
and is already up for sale, but at a very high price. Plans are
underway to develop it for commercial availability at a
reasonable price.
Yuan has often emphasized that over 60% of Chinese depend on
rice as their staple cereal, and over half the world. In October
2016, a sea-rice research center was established in Qingdao,
Shandong Province, headed by Yuan Lingpin.
China is doing significant work to improve rice yields in
Africa. For example, China intends to build an agricultural
technology center in Burundi, where great gains are being made in
rice yields.
In 2004--declared by the UN to be the international "Year of
Rice," Juan Longping was given the World Food Prize (established
originally by Dr. Norman Borlaug,) which at the same time was
also given to the prominent African rice research scientst Dr.
Monty Jones; Jones is the former senior rice breeder at the
Western Africa Rice Development Center.
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