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Per Ha Rice Output to Rise to 13.5 Tons in 2008
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Rice yields on model farms are expected to climb to 13.5 tons per hectare in 2008 from 12 tons in 2004, said Yuan Longping, the world renowned "father of hybrid rice".


Rice is a staple food for most Chinese.


The rise in the hybrid rice yield will help improve farmers' incomes and feed the increasing population, said Yuan, while attending Wednesday's Third China Indica Rice Innovation Forum in the northeastern city of Shenyang.


He said there is still plenty of room to improve the per hectare yield as the ceiling could be as high as 22.5 tons in areas like the central city of Changsha.


Yuan developed the world's first hybrid rice strain in 1974, thereby increasing rice output by 15 to 20 percent.


He was awarded the 2004 United Nations World Food Prize for his contribution to increasing food output and feeding more people.


China, the world biggest rice producer, produces about 183 million tons of rice from about 32 million hectares of paddy field. 80 percent of the 21.3 million hectares of indica rice is hybrid rice.


(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2006)


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