Yuan Longping, renowned Chinese developer of hybrid rice, has set a new world record.
A hybrid rice project headed by Yuan has achieved an annual yield of 1,537.78 kilograms of rice per mu (about 0.07 hectares) of farmland, authorities announced Saturday in Xingning City in south China's Guangdong Province.
The amount of the double-cropping rice is equal to that produced over three seasons in the past, marking a big breakthrough, said Luo Xiwen, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
"This is the fifth generation of hybrid rice technology," Yuan told Xinhua. "The quality of the rice is as good as Japan's renowned Koshihikari rice."
The project was launched in 2015.
Known as China's "father of hybrid rice," Yuan began theoretical research about 50 years ago and continued to set new records in the average yields of hybrid rice plots.
China's Ministry of Agriculture officially launched a hybrid rice breeding program in 1996. Four years later, a first-phase target of 10.5 tonnes per hectare was achieved by Yuan's research team. The fourth-phase target of 15.4 tonnes per hectare was reached in 2014.
About 65 percent of Chinese depend on rice as a staple food.