Chinese hybrid rice taking trip overseas 02-05-2016

China's National Rice Research Institute is looking to tap into seed markets in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America as it promotes its hybrid rice varieties over the next five years, according to CCM.


Source: Bing


On 8 Jan., 2016, Cheng Shihua, director general of the China's National Rice Research Institute, said China will promote its hybrid rice seeds in emerging markets in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America over the next five years. Development of local rice varieties overseas will help China improve its own rice research, as it will help enrich its rice gene pool.

The Hangzhou-based institute, which emphasizes genetic studies of rice and genome research for improving rice yields, grain quality, pest resistance and stress tolerance, is set to launch a joint venture seed company in Indonesia to develop new hybrid rice varieties for farmers.

"We have conducted a number of tests on new rice varieties in rice paddies overseas. More often than not, our hybrids produce 30 percent higher yields than local varieties," said Cheng. The institute will partner with Chinese seed companies to promote its technology overseas. "We need to ensure that rice companies make profits and that local farmers improve their yields," he said.

During the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-20), the institute will go further than simply setting up demonstration centers for Chinese technologies, according to Cheng. "We need to establish ourselves in the local seed markets, and this will offer us a starting point to establish ourselves further in the agricultural sector," he added.

The cost to export Chinese rice seeds to foreign markets remains high, so the institute wants to develop local rice varieties overseas with a local labor force. The concept must go through a very complicated administrative approval procedure from the Ministry of Agriculture. And it is expected that the approval procedure will be simplified in the near future.

Hu Peisong, deputy director general of the institute and a researcher in rice genetic studies and genome research, said the country still lags behind other major rice-producing countries in the world in terms of improving grain quality. He said the institute will put more focus on the improvement of rice quality over the next five years in order to meet the nation's growing demand. International academic exchanges with Southeast Asia and India are also getting more frequent, and that will help the country improve its rice quality as well.


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Tag: hybrid rice, seed

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