China’s long coastline provides a big opportunity for cultivation of sea-rice but more research is needed to optimize the species, experts said, after China’s “father of hybrid rice,” Yuan Longping, revealed that a plan to cultivate rice near the coast is being researched by his team. Yuan, 86, head of the sea-rice research and development center, delivered a speech at the World Life Science Conference in Beijing on Wednesday [2 November 2016], saying that a newly founded research center in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, planned to expand the yield of sea-rice to 200 kilograms per mu (0.067 hectare) within three years, the Xinhua News Agency reported…Full Article: Nov 2016

Key Point

  • China has more than 1 billion mu [~66.6 million hectares] of saline-alkali soil that is not being cultivated, including 10 million mu [~666,666 hectares] of intertidal zone [seashore] soil.

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  • In April 2017, the sea rice center will plant 2 hectares of sea rice on an experimental plot situated north of Jiaozhou Bay (Qingdao), Shandong Province.
  • In October 2016, Qingdao Sea Rice Research and Development Center was founded and will reportedly use gene sequencing technology to breed new strains of sea-rice.  The center received CNY 100 million (US$14.8 million) as initial funding, with total funding expected to reach CNY 2 billion [~US$295 million] in the future.
  • In 1991, Chen Risheng identified ‘Sea-rice 86’ as a new species of seawater rice that could grow in saline-alkali soil along coastal areas. It was estimated that China has 100 million hectares of saline-alkali soil.
  • In 1986, China’s Chen Risheng (Zhanjiang Agriculture College alumnus) discovered a wild rice variety with high saline-alkali tolerance in Suixi County, Guangdong Province.

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