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April 2024

China-Pakistan efforts to develop hybrid rice make progress

The University of the Punjab in Pakistan and Wuhan University in China have been carrying out joint research on the cultivation of Honglian type hybrid rice under high-temperature conditions for five years.

Muhammad Ashfaq (right) visits the Honglian type hybrid rice test field in Luotian county, Hubei province on Sep 19.
Muhammad Ashfaq (right) visits the Honglian type hybrid rice test field in Luotian county, Hubei province on Sep 19.

They have also been working on the upgrading of the rice varieties in the two countries.

Wuhan University has provided seeds of three new varieties, which have been planted in a test field of the Pakistani university.

As a major sci-tech achievement of Wuhan University, Honglian type hybrid rice occupies an important position in the international hybrid rice sector.

It features a high yield and good quality, as well as wide adaptability, high nitrogen use efficiency, and high-temperature tolerance.

In September, Muhammad Ashfaq, associate professor at the University of the Punjab and a leader of the research project, came to Wuhan in Hubei province with more than 2,000 fresh rice leaves collected from the test field of the university.

“Behind these leaf samples may be the key information for unlocking the heat tolerance genes of Honglian type hybrid rice. It is of significance for global food production and climate adaptation in the future,” said Wu Xianting, a project leader from Wuhan University.

During his visits to Hubei, Ashfaq also visited a Honglian type hybrid rice seeds production field in Luotian county. Created by the two universities in 2021, the field of 0.8 hectares aims to promote the trial planting of the new-generation hybrid rice in Pakistan.

It also serves as witness to the efforts made by the scientists from the two countries to stabilize global food supply and pursue sustainable development.

With the hybrid rice seeds output of the Luotian field reaching 4.68 metric tons per hectare this year, Ashfaq said excitedly that he hoped to plant these rice varieties in Pakistan as soon as possible, not only for trial planting but for large-scale cultivation.

Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, China has shared more than 1,500 agricultural technologies, including those related to hybrid rice, with many countries around the world. QR Code

Published Date: November 20, 2023

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