试种海水稻(shìzhòng hǎishuǐdào): Sea rice experimental planting
Sea rice is a new type of rice with saline-alkaline tolerance that was developed through crossbreeding and ordinary breeding technologies by Chinese plant-breeding experts. The Sea Rice Research and Development Center in Qingdao, Shandong province, told the media that this year its plant-breeding base in Hainan has selected 176 sea rice samples from among thousands and it is piloting planting nationwide. It is expected millions of hectares of saline-alkaline land in China will be turned into cultivable land.
According to Zhang Guodong, deputy director of the Sea Rice Research and Development Center, China has 10 million hectares of saline-alkaline land nationwide with different weather conditions. This year the plant-breeding experts will launch the experimental planting of sea rice in five major saline-alkaline areas nationwide to test the yield and quality of 176 sea rice samples. It is expected that after the trials at least one type of sea rice will be planted nationwide.
Sea rice breeding is of great significance to China's food production and food security. According to Yuan Longping, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, if the planting of sea rice is expanded to cover 666,667 hectares, it will increase rice production by 30 billion kilograms a year based on the minimum output of 4,500 kilograms per hectare, equal to the annual output of rice in Hunan province, which can feed 80 million people.