CCM: Conventional rice cultivars gradually beat hybrid ones in China 09-27-2016

Summary: The planting area of hybrid rice in China is gradually shrinking, and the planting area of conventional rice is increasing. New high-quality and high-yield conventional rice varieties are preferred by farmers because they are not prone to diseases and have stable outputs.

 

Author: Tong Pingya

 

Researcher of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has long been engaged in the scientific study of corn and agricultural development strategy research. With extensive theoretical knowledge and practice experience, Mr. Tong acts as a senior consultant for both government departments and non-government organizations.

 

This article expresses the personal view of the author, but not CCM’s.


 

Source: Bing


China plants japonica rice and indica rice. In Southern China, most of the rice varieties are indica rice and hybrid rice while in Northern China, the majority is japonica rice and conventional rice.

The planting area of hybrid rice in China is gradually shrinking while the planting area of conventional rice keeps growing. New high-quality and high-yield conventional rice is gradually taking over hybrid rice in China.

 

1. Planting area of hybrid rice gradually decreases

 

Since the beginning of the new century, especially in the last five years, japonica rice has been promoted in Southern China and the planting area of conventional rice is growing. In major rice planting areas in Southern China, such as Guangdong, Jiangxi, Hunan, Hubei, Jiangsu and Yunnan provinces, the planting areas of conventional rice are growing fast.

 

Data from the Ministry of Agriculture of the P.R.C. show that in 2000 when hybrid rice developed strongly in China, the top five rice varieties by planting area in Southern China were all hybrid rice varieties. As more and more new conventional rice cultivars were bred after entering the new century, the top five varieties in 2014 included four conventional varieties and the top two were Zhongjiazao17 (611,000 ha) and Ningjing4 (358,000 ha), both of which are conventional varieties.

Specifically, in 2014:

 

  • In Guangdong Province: of the 1.89 million ha (28.40 million mu) of rice planting area, conventional rice accounted for 50%
  • In Jiangsu Province: of the 2.27 million ha (34.08 million mu) of rice planting area, conventional rice accounted for 1.93 million ha (29 million mu)
  • In Yunnan Province: the planting area of conventional rice reached 667,000 ha (10 million mu), accounting for 80% of the total
  • In Zhuzhou City, Youxian County, Hunan Province: the planting area of conventional rice reached 19,000 ha (189,000 mu), accounting for 64.90% of the total

 

It is worth noting that the proportion of sales volume of conventional rice seeds and hybrid rice seeds changed from 3:7 to 7:3. According to research carried out by the Jiangsu Provincial Agricultural Bureau, in early 2016, the planting area of conventional rice accounted for 50% of the total and 80% of large farms have plans to enlarge their planting areas of conventional rice. A county-level seed distributor in Hubei Province disclosed that the planting area of conventional rice hit 20,000 ha (300,000 mu), accounting for half of the total rice planting area in the county.

 

In addition, China's total supply of hybrid rice seeds was 277 million kg in 2013, and it decreased by 13.52% YoY to 244 million kg in 2014. The total supply of conventional rice seeds was 617 million kg and 647 million kg respectively with a YoY increase of 4.86%. The market value of hybrid rice seeds hit USD2.06 billion (RMB13.28 billion) in 2013 before it dropped by 11.99% YoY to USD1.84 billion (RMB11.85 billion).

 

2. New cultivated conventional rice varieties favored by farmers

 

Conventional rice is favored by farmers as it is not prone to diseases, and it has stable output compared to hybrid rice. Also, newly bred conventional rice varieties have high yield, good quality and great resistance.

 

The sales prices of rice in recent years are:


  • Hybrid rice: USD34.06-37.16 (RMB220-240) per hundred kg
  • Conventional rice: USD40.26-43.35 (RMB260-280) per hundred kg, some high-quality varieties can yield up to USD49.55 (RMB320) per hundred kg

 

 3. Still a long way to go for conventional rice

 

There is no doubt that hybrid rice is an important invention in China, but it needs to keep pace with development and utilize improvements to cultivation technology. To date, the planting area of conventional rice is gradually growing and there is still a long way to go for conventional rice.


In 2014, the average prices of rice seeds in China:

  • Conventional: USD1.24-1.55/kg (RMB8-10/kg)
  • Hybrid: USD7.43-7.74/kg (RMB48-50/kg), some seeds can yield up to USD12.39-13.94/kg (RMB80-90/kg)


 


About CCM:

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