China's super hybrid rice program is making good progress, Yuan Longping, known as "father of hybrid rice," said Wednesday at the International Rice Congress in Beijing.
Yuan said the second phase target of the program, yields of 800 kilograms (1764 pounds) per mu (15 mu equals one hectare), might be achieved in one year, well within the estimated completion date of 2005.
The first phase target, 700 kilograms (1543 pounds) per mu, was completed in 2000 as scheduled, said Yuan, adding that efforts were now focused on breeding for phase two super hybrid rice.
Yuan is famous for his outstanding achievements in breeding high-yield hybrid rice, which has substantially increased China's grain output.
Yuan was the first in the world to create hybrid rice in the 1960s. Since then, 50 percent of China's total rice cultivation fields have grown hybrid rice, which added some 300 billion kilograms (661 pounds)to the country's grain output in 1999.
(People's Daily September 19, 2002)