The development of japonica hybrid rice has huge potential in China as the nation is seeking new increase areas of grain products, said an official with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MSOT) on Sunday.
Jia Jingdun, a MOST official in charge of rural and social development, said the hybrid rice technology developed by Chinese scientists are widely used in the world while the japonica hybrid rice technology are yet to be promoted.
Jia made the remarks at an forum on technological innovation in hybrid rice held in Changshu of eastern Jiangsu Province. He said China now grows about 240 million mu (16 hectares) of hybrid rice to feed more than 70 million people while the japonica rice only accounts for 5 percent of all the hybrid rice growing areas.
China has planned to raise the proportion to 30 percent by 2010 to realize an annual japonica rice production of 3 billion kilograms, said Jia.
Chinese scientists have made breakthroughs in cultivating japonica rice in recent years. The new varieties named "Changyou" which were developed by Changshu Agricultural Technology Institute have passed national tests. Local farmers are growing more than 13.9 million mu (927,000 hectares) of the newly-developed rice.
The forum was organized by China National Hybrid Rice R&D Center and Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences. More than 400 experts from home and abroad, including China's "father of hybrid rice" Yuan Longping attended the forum.
(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2007)