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China boosts agriculture innovation to ensure food security | Updated: 2013-11-12 11:25

Xu Jingyu had been growing corn and wheat for a dozen years, but never imagined his saline-alkali soils could produce 500 kilograms of grain per mu (about 0.07 hectare).

"Until last year, the average wheat production was only 200 to 300 kilograms per mu," said the 64-year-old Xu, who lives in Musanba village in Nanpi County, Hebei Province, where lands have been less productive due to the soil salinity.

Xu said that last year he began to grow wheat seeds, called "Xiao Yan 81," provided by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and adopted farming techniques suggested by the institution.

The land yield of wheat in Musanba village this year has already reached more than 450 kilograms per mu, and corn yields have reached about 600 kilograms per mu, according to Xu.

China accounts for a fifth of the world's population, but with less than 9 percent of its land arable, China's leaders have aimed to boost agriculture technology to ensure food supply.

In July, President Xi Jinping said during a tour of rural areas in central China's Hubei province that the country's food security issue could only be solved by the country itself, indicating that the country should not rely on imports for its food supply.

Analysts say recent moves, such as the initiatives by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the Bohai Bay Rim area, which includes Musanba Village, reflect China's determination to tackle the problem by promoting agriculture innovation.

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