Home Ed. 2019 September Zhang Zhaodong: Breeding the Philippines Tropical Super Rice with Yuan Longping’s Hybrid...

Zhang Zhaodong: Breeding the Philippines Tropical Super Rice with Yuan Longping’s Hybrid Rice Technology

“The 70th Anniversary of the Founding of New China” Figures (70 years of New China)

Yuan Longping, the father of hybrid rice, wrote in the preface of the book “Feichang Rice”: I have been to the Philippines for more than 30 times… The (tropical) hybrid rice combination being developed in the Philippines not only produces high yield, but also solves the quality problem of the rice in the tropics and is accepted everywhere.

Behind this paragraph by Yuan Longping is the story of China and the Philippines, three generations, and forty years of efforts to realize the dream of “hybrid rice technology benefits the tropical countries of Southeast Asia.”

In 1979, Yuan Longping‘s first time going abroad was going to the Philippines to attend the International Rice Research Conference. In 1981, he was invited to come to the Philippines again to guide the hybrid rice technology in the International Rice Research Institute. At the time, Swami Nathan, the director of the International Rice Research Institute, judged that the Philippines belonged to the marine system climate, and rice was easy to fall, China’s sterile line hybrid rice technology could not be used in tropical countries. From then on, How to make Chinese hybrid rice technology benefit Southeast Asia has become a part of Yuan Longping’s “World Hybrid Rice Dream”.

In June 1999, the Chinese and Philippine governments signed the Agreement on China’s Helping the Philippines to Develop Hybrid Rice. In the same year, Zhang Zhaodong, who taught genetics and breeding at Hunan Lingling Agricultural School, was appointed by Yuan Longping to board the Philippines, and cooperated with the famous Chinese businessman Lin Yuqing to develop, invest and promote tropical hybrid rice.

This year is the 20th year of Zhang Zhaodong’s work in the Philippines. Recently, a reporter had an interview with Zhang Zhaodong at the Tropical Hybrid Rice Base in Laguna Province, Central Luzon, Philippines Laguna Province, where thebase is located, is a Feng Shui treasure land that is best recognized by the world’s rice experts for the selection of soil, climate and water sources for hybrid rice seedlings in the tropics.

In the base tropical super hybrid rice field, Zhang Zha-odong told the reporter by holding the golden, heavy, and chest-high rice ears, ”This will be the seed of a new year that Filipino farmers are competing to buy.”

In the base of the bird-proof and wind-proof, there are more than ten green tropical hybrid rice nurseries. Zhang Zhaodong used the words of Hunan Yongzhou Hometown to say: “each hybrid rice should be rooted in its unique living environment, and there are no constant rice seeds, which must constantly innovate and adapt to the new environment, so the ‘rice’ is always changing. Here each nursery is a different experiment, and we have selected several generations of seeds in advance. ”

As early as 2003, Zhang Zha-odong’s technical team selected Xiling No.8 and No.9 “Tropical Hybrid Rice Pioneer Combination” (“Xiling Series”) from the native wild rice in the Philippines with Yuan Longping’s hybrid rice technology, due to the highest yield reaching 17 tons per hectare, it is 6 times of the local ordinary rice production, and it has been promoted and planted by the Philippine Ministry of Agriculture and is highly respected by Philippine farmers.

So far, nearly 100 Philippine farmers have been awarded by the Xiling Company for their production of more than 15 tons per hectare due to the cultivation of the “Xiling Series” hybrid rice. According to the data of Philippine Department of Agriculture, from Luzon Island, Mishaye, to Mindanao, the “Xiling Series” planted area in the Philippines has reached 450,000 hectares in 2019.

In recent years, Lin Yuqing invested and promoted with Zhang Zhaodong’s technical support. This pair of partners has extended the tropical hybrid rice technology originating from China to ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Today, Zhang Zhaodong’s son and two nephews have served as the base of scientific research, and continue to promote the service of Chinese hybrid rice breeding technology in the Philippines, and even in ASEAN countries.

By Guan Xiangdong, China News Service