The successful research on hybrid rice in China has opened up a new way for the substantial increase in rice production.

Yang Yuanzhu, vice president of Longping Hi-Tech and chief rice expert, said in an exclusive interview with China News Agency "Dongxiwen" that since the first time it went abroad in 1979, Chinese hybrid rice has been researched and promoted in dozens of countries and regions, contributing to world food security. and made a significant contribution to the dissemination of improved seed technology.

  The following is a summary of the interview transcript:

  China News Agency reporter: Hello everyone!

Welcome to the exclusive interview with China News Agency, I am Guan Ziwen, a reporter from China News Agency.

"Developing hybrid rice to benefit the people of the world" is the lifelong pursuit and dream of Yuan Longping, the "father of hybrid rice".

Since going abroad for the first time in 1979, China's hybrid rice has been researched and promoted in dozens of countries and regions around the world, making great contributions to world food security.

  Today, in an exclusive interview with East West China News Agency, we will have a dialogue with Yang Yuanzhu, vice president of Longping Hi-Tech and chief rice expert, and ask him to explain how "Oriental Magic Rice" contributes "grain" to world food security.

  Hello, Mr. Yang!

  Yang Yuanzhu: Hello!

  China News Agency reporter: We just mentioned that this Chinese hybrid rice has been researched and promoted in dozens of countries and regions around the world. Could you please tell us about the specific application situation overseas? ?

  Yang Yuanzhu: Since the successful research on hybrid rice in China in the 1970s and its large-scale promotion, the Chinese government, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and other international organizations have provided a series of hybrid rice technical assistance to the world's major rice-growing countries.

In the early 1990s, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations listed the promotion of hybrid rice as the preferred strategic measure to solve the food shortage problem in developing countries.

  At present, China's hybrid rice technology has been tested and demonstrated in more than 40 countries around the world, of which more than 10 countries have carried out large-scale promotion. The annual planting area exceeds 6 million hectares, and the general yield is 2 tons per hectare higher than that of local conventional rice.

  The United States was the first country to introduce Chinese hybrid rice technology.

In 1979, the American Ring Seed Company introduced three hybrid rice varieties from China for trial planting. The yield per unit increased by 165% to 180% compared with the local varieties in the United States.

The following year, the United States and China signed an agreement on the transfer of hybrid rice seed production technology, and China sent experts to the United States to provide guidance on hybrid rice technology, which soon succeeded.

At present, the proportion of hybrid rice planting in the United States is nearly 60%, which means that the annual planting area is about 600,000 hectares; Vietnam is the first country to directly apply Chinese hybrid rice, with an annual planting area of ​​over 700,000 hectares at most; Pakistan is the fastest growing hybrid rice In the South Asian country, the current annual planting area exceeds 600,000 hectares, accounting for more than 20% of the total rice planting area in Pakistan; in 1980, India began to study hybrid rice, and the current annual planting area of ​​hybrid rice exceeds 3.3 million hectares. The country with the largest area of ​​hybrid rice.

  China News Agency reporter: So what are the stages of China's hybrid rice "going out"?

  Yang Yuanzhu: It can be roughly divided into three stages.

Then the first stage is before 2007, which is mainly about "going out of products", that is, our hybrid rice varieties are directly exported as seed trade and sold directly to seed companies in some countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia; then the second stage is "hybrid rice varieties". In the stage of "localization of rice research", Chinese seed industry companies and scientific research institutions set up hybrid rice R&D centers overseas, that is, breeding stations, to carry out "localized" hybrid rice breeding for target countries, and to cultivate hybrid rice that is truly suitable for promotion in target countries. Rice varieties; then the third stage is the "foreign investment" stage of China's seed industry, which has just started. Chinese seed companies and foreign seed companies set up joint ventures to speed up the localized seed production of overseas hybrid rice and the pace of industrialization of hybrid rice.

  China News Agency reporter: So what problems does the promotion of this hybrid rice face overseas?

What attempts and efforts have China made?

  Yang Yuanzhu: Personally, I think there are mainly the following problems and aspects:

  First, China's hybrid rice has weak resistance to some bacterial diseases and rice planthoppers in tropical regions such as South Asia and Southeast Asia. If it is directly exported to these countries, it can be reluctantly planted in the dry season, but the risk of planting in the rainy season is relatively high. Moreover, the growth period of Chinese hybrid rice in South Asia is about 30 days shorter than that of the main local varieties, and it is difficult to exert the advantage of yield; the second is that most of the hybrid rice varieties cultivated in China in the past belong to high-fertility and high-yield varieties, and the fertilizer utilization rate is relatively high. Low.

However, in countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa, their paddy soils are relatively poor and the level of fertilization is low, so the potential of our hybrid rice to increase yield is difficult to achieve; the third is that most Chinese hybrid rice varieties have low amylose content, and the sticky rice is sticky. Sex is relatively heavy, and it is not suitable for countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh that are used to eating with their hands.

  The second aspect is that the overall strength of Chinese seed enterprises is not strong.

With low R&D investment and lack of international research talents, most seed companies do not have the support of "localized" R&D, and are still in the initial stage of seed trade.

Then, due to the rising cost of domestic hybrid rice seed production year by year, the profit of seed export is getting lower and lower, and it is difficult for companies that rely solely on seed trade export to develop sustainably.

  Then another is that underdeveloped countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa and other underdeveloped countries are relatively backward in scientific farming, and cannot achieve good seeds and methods, which also brings certain obstacles to the promotion of hybrid rice.

  Then, in response to the above problems, China has made the main corresponding measures:

  First, we have established the strategy of "R&D first" for hybrid rice to go global.

Chinese seed companies and scientific research institutes have successively established hybrid rice R&D centers in target countries, also known as breeding stations, to carry out "localized" breeding of hybrid rice in a targeted manner, focusing on solving the problems of resistance to diseases and insect pests, lodging and low resistance. The improvement of traits such as fertilizer can fundamentally solve the ecological adaptability of hybrid rice varieties.

For example, Longping Hi-Tech, we started to set up overseas hybrid rice R&D centers in the Philippines, Pakistan, India and Vietnam in 2007. In Hainan, we established a Sanya overseas hybrid rice R&D center to manage our overseas hybrid rice breeding stations.

As of 2021, our Longping Hi-Tech has approved 31 new hybrid rice varieties overseas. In 2021, our overseas sales of hybrid rice seeds will exceed 6,800 tons, and 100% of the products sold are the results of local independent research and development; China Rice Research Institute is currently in Indonesia , Pakistan has also established a hybrid rice research and development center, which has also made good progress.

  Then our second measure is to set up a hybrid rice industrialization company in the target country, gradually realize the localization of production, greatly reduce the cost of seed production, and improve the efficiency of the enterprise.

  Then the third is to strengthen the international training of hybrid rice.

China's Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and Ministry of Science and Technology have all set up international training programs for hybrid rice.

Longping Hi-Tech is the first "China Hybrid Rice Technical Foreign Aid Training Base" awarded by the Ministry of Commerce. So far, it has held more than 100 international training courses on hybrid rice, and has trained nearly 10,000 agricultural officials and agricultural technology experts for more than 100 countries. Rice's "going out" has laid a good talent foundation.

  China News Service reporter: Some people in the industry said that our hybrid rice is the most successful model of using foreign germplasm resources in China. How should we understand such a statement?

What is the significance of international cooperation on germplasm resources for ensuring world food security?

  Yang Yuanzhu: Germplasm resources are the material basis for breeding innovation. The breeding of breakthrough new varieties depends on breeders' discovery and utilization of excellent germplasm resources.

The success of research on hybrid rice in China is mainly due to the discovery of "wild-destroyed" cytoplasmic sterile germplasm and the effective use of restorer germplasm in Southeast Asian countries or regions.

  Germplasm resources have the characteristics of regional evolution, and specific germplasm is the result of long-term stress and evolution of biotic and abiotic stress in a region. It is difficult for a country or region to have all and various types of germplasm resources.

After more than half a century of development of hybrid rice in China, China now has the best hybrid rice germplasm resources in the world. If these germplasms are hybridized and improved with excellent varieties in Southeast Asia and South Asia, it will undoubtedly play a role in accelerating the cultivation of overseas hybrid rice varieties. to a huge boost.

Therefore, international cooperation on germplasm resources is of great significance for promoting the exchange of excellent germplasm resources, the mining and genetic improvement of excellent genes, accelerating the cultivation of breakthrough varieties, and ensuring world food security.

  China News Agency reporter: Mr. Yang, in your opinion, why has China's hybrid rice achieved such great achievements?

Now facing the increasingly severe global food security problem, how should Chinese hybrid rice play a greater role in it?

Show greater action?

  Yang Yuanzhu: We think there are three main reasons: The first is the urgent need to ensure national food security.

It is the original intention and mission of Academician Yuan Longping to carry out hybrid rice research by utilizing the heterosis of rice to greatly increase the yield per unit of rice and to solve the problem of food and clothing for more than one billion Chinese people. Second, China has a large number of outstanding hybrid rice breeding experts headed by Academician Yuan Longping. , they are down-to-earth ploughing the fields, and are committed to "writing the paper on the ground", and only then have the breakthrough and success of China's hybrid rice technology; third, with the strong support of the state, the research on hybrid rice has carried out a nationwide collaboration , the Great War, concentrated the superior forces of the whole country, and overcome one difficulty after another.

  The successful research and large-scale application of hybrid rice has solved the problem of Chinese people's food. This is the best answer to the question of American Lester Brown "who will feed China" by Chinese scientific and technological workers represented by Yuan Longping.

"Chinese rice bowls are filled with Chinese grains, and the Chinese people's rice bowls are firmly in the hands of the Chinese people." This is the solemn commitment and greatest contribution made by the Chinese leaders and all people to the world.

In today's community with a shared future for mankind, in the face of the new opportunities brought by the "Belt and Road" initiative to the internationalization of hybrid rice, we are more responsible and responsible for hybrid rice to undertake a greater mission of the times, in order to realize the "hybrid rice coverage" proposed by Academician Yuan Longping. "Global Dream" and work hard, contribute Chinese strength and provide Chinese solutions and Chinese wisdom to solving global food security problems.

  China News Agency reporter: Thank you very much Mr. Yang for coming to our China News Agency for an exclusive interview. Thank you.

  Yang Yuanzhu: Thank you.

  Reporter Fu Yu Xu Zhixiong Guan Ziwen reported from Changsha

Responsible editor: [Ji Xiang]