Thursday, July 25, 2024

Pakistani and Chinese Universities Develop Heat-Resistant Hybrid Rice Varieties to Improve Food Security

Sponsored by Wuhan University, Hubei Association of Science and Technology, China and the University of Punjab, the 2nd International Cooperation & Development Forum on Honglian Type Hybrid Rice was held on December 9. Scientists and officials from Pakistan and China attended the forum online or offline to explore Sino-Pak cooperation on hybrid rice in the future.

Honglian Type Hybrid Rice is the original scientific and technological achievement of Wuhan University. Honglian Type Hybrid Rice is characterized by its excellent quality, disease and insect multiple resistance, high temperature tolerance, and high nitrogen use efficiency, which is applicable to be cultivated in countries of high temperature, frequent plant diseases and insect pests and crude grain production along the Belt and Road route like Pakistan. Incomplete statistics show that the accumulated acreage of Honglian hybrid rice globally so far has exceeded about 30 million hectares.

According to Zhu Renshan, Director of Wuhan University – The University of Punjab Honglian Type Hybrid Rice Joint Research Center, Honglian Type Hybrid Rice was introduced to Pakistan in 2018 and has achieved promising harvests in various demonstrative plots in Lahore, Gujranwala, Vehari, Pakpattan in Punjab, Shikar Pur and Larkana in Sindh, etc., basically covering main rice planting regions in Pakistan. The field trials and demonstration in Pakistan in 2022 exhibited that the yield of Honglian HP3 is 12.5% higher than that of the control group.

This summer, Pakistan was hit by unprecedented floods and suffered huge losses. “Developing high-yield hybrid rice is of great significance to resume grain production and economic growth after the flood disaster. We sincerely hope Wuhan University – The University of Punjab Honglian Type Hybrid Rice Joint Research Center could become a long-term platform for China-Pakistan agricultural science and technology cooperation to safeguard mutual food security and deepen Pak-China friendship,” Shahzad Sabir, Director, Agriculture Headquarters, Punjab said in today’s forum.

It’s learned that to cope with global warming, right now new heat-tolerant Honglian hybrid rice varieties more suitable for Pakistan’s local conditions is being developed under Wuhan University – The University of Punjab Honglian Type Hybrid Rice Joint Research Center. “The joint research work of Wuhan University and the University of Punjab on extremely heat-resistant hybrid rice will promote the research and development of high-yield hybrid rice in Pakistan and improve the level of food security in the country,” Tariq Bashir Cheema, Pakistani Minister for National Food Security and Research once remarked in the international forum themed by “Hybrid Rice Aid for Foreign Countries and World Food Security” this November.

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