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Save a grain, urges rice guru

CHINA'S "Father of Hybrid Rice," Yuan Longping, said his "super rice" paddy in the China Pavilion was intended to remind visitors to "save every single grain."

The 80-year-old agricultural scientist yesterday visited the pavilion and said the 10-square-meter paddy he developed was growing well.

He said many people, especially younger generations living in cities, no longer had the habit to save every grain of rice because most of them had never experienced a lack of food. He hoped every visitor could begin saving every grain after visiting the exhibition.

The 10-square-meter "super rice" paddy is on display in a section called "The Land of Hope" in the China Pavilion.

The "super rice" is one of the most productive in the world with an average output capacity of 800 kilograms per hectare, nearly double that of ordinary hybrid rice.

The paddy rice in the China Pavilion is being changed every 10 days to ensure the leaves are green and the ears of grain are gold in color.

A 1,000-square-meter rice paddy growing in the city's Fengxian District is the source of substitute plants for those at the China Pavilion.

The "super rice" strain has been planted in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hunan and Yunnan provinces.

Yuan received a warm welcome from officials and staff at the Joint Africa Pavilion on Monday because his hybrid rice varieties developed in the 1970s provided robust and plentiful food sources on the continent.

Madagascar people appreciated Yuan's hybrid rice for improving their livelihood, said the director of the Madagascar Pavilion. Yuan posed in front of the pavilion which was decorated with a gold rice grain.

Yuan said he would return to the China Pavilion in September to check the progress of his rice crop in time for harvest.


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