SANYA, January 15. /TASS/. Chinese specialists, led by academician Yuan Longping, plan to sow 6.7 million hectares of salt-tolerant rice in saline soil in the next 8-10 years. According to Xinhua, representatives of the project announced this at the Fifth International Sea Rice Forum held in Hainan's Sanya.
According to the news outlet, by now the team of Yuan Longping, who has already become widely known in China as the "father of hybrid rice", has signed contracts for the cultivation of 400,000 hectares in China.
According to the representatives of the academician's team, in 2021 they have already begun the commercialization of the project and the introduction of the hybrid rice they have developed into the country's agriculture.
Academician Yuan Longping has been leading the project on a salt-tolerant crop, also known as "sea rice", for a number of years. However, this unofficial name is not entirely correct, since the plant is not cultivated directly in sea water. Such rice grows and survives in salt marsh — the soil, the top layer of which is characterized by the presence of readily soluble salts. To date, the rice bred by scientists, can survive at a salt concentration of up to 1.2% in the surrounding water, while most of the plants die in such conditions.
Yuan Longping's hybrid rice showed a high yield - in 2017, his team was able to get about 800 kg of rice per mu at a testing base in Jiangsu province (Chinese measure of area equal to 0.067 ha — TASS), that is, about 12 tonnes per hectare. Currently, the scientists have already begun testing salt-tolerant rice in cold climates in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province on the Russian border in China's Teli County.