Rice project benefits nations in Asia, Africa

Chinese scientist says resilient varieties boost harvests, minimize use of fertilizers

A decadelong agricultural project spearheaded by Chinese scientists has helped alleviate poverty for more than 1.6 million f

arming households in 18 Asian and African countries through cultivation of high-yield and resilient rice strains.

The Green Super Rice project, led by the Chinese Academy of Agric

ultural Sciences, has generated 78 rice varieties that boast an average 20 percent increase in har

vest per hectare while minimizing the use of fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation, said Li Zhikang, a professor and

researcher of rice breeding at the academy and a leading member of the project, on Tuesday.

The total area planted with the varieties in participating countries h

ad expanded to 6.12 million hectares by the end of last year, including around 3.4 million hect

ares in the Philippines, 1.3 million hectares in India and 1.1 million hectares in Vietnam, he said.

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