Chinese rice scientist Yuan Longping greatly contributed to reducing hunger from China as well as from many parts of the world through inventing modern hybrid rice seeds, speakers at a webinar on Wednesday said.
Agronomist Prof Yuan Longping, known as the father of the hybrid rice seed, passed away on May 22, 2021, in the central province of Hunan in China at the age of 91.
The webinar was organised by the Bangladesh Seed Association (BSA) commemorating late scientist Yuan and his contribution to world agriculture and food security.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming spoke as the chief guest while BSA President Abdul Awal Mintoo chaired the webinar.
Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh Agricultural University Prof Lutful Hasan, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor Prof Shahidur Rashid Bhuiyan, Research Fellow at China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center Mr Liaofuming, Secretary-General of China National Seed Trade Association Wiehong Tian (Alison), Director General (Seed) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh, Balai Krisna Hazra, Head, Hybrid Rice Div, BRRI, Bangladesh, Dr Jamil Hasan Tushar, China National Seed Association President Yanqiu Zhang, Director General of Rice Research Institute, Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Science, China, Mr. Mao Changxiang, former agriculture secretary, Bangladesh, Anwar Faruque, Bangladesh Krishi Bank Chairman Md Nasiruzzaman, Country Chief of IRRI, Bangladesh, Dr. Humanth Bhandary, ACI Managing Director Dr FH Ansarey, Seed Technologist and Seed Regulation Specialist Shahjahan Ali, senior journalist, Bangladesh Television, Rezaul Karim Siddique, Bangladesh Agricultural Journalists’ Forum Secretary Shahid Shaheen and BSA Executive Director Fakhrul Islam also joined the event and spoke.
Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming said shortly after a serious nationwide famine in the 1960s, Yuan devoted himself to researching how to boost harvests, thus inventing the world’s first high-yielding hybrid rice strain in 1973, which was later grown on a large scale in China and other countries to substantially raise output.
“The technology has expanded largely to 9.0 per cent of global rice acreage with 20 per cent of world production,” he said.
In China, where rice is the staple for the majority of the 1.4 billion population, the accumulated planting area of hybrid rice has exceeded 16 million hectares, or 57 per cent of the total planting area of rice, helps feed an extra 80 million people per year, said Mr Jiming.