Chinese scientists develop new rice varieties that can be planted in
seawater, which can potentially provide food for 200 million people.
Scientists have long been working on rice that can grow in seawater, and
finally commercially viable varieties are now being tested. Around 200 rice
varieties are under testing near the Yellow Sea coastal city of Qingdao in
Shandong province to see which ones perform best in salty conditions.
Seawater is pumped into the fields, diluted, and then channelled into the
rice paddies. The researchers projected that the rice varieties would
produce 4.5 tons per hectare, but one variety already showed promising
results by producing 9.3 tons per hectare.
"The test results greatly exceeded our expectations," said Liu Shiping, one
of the researchers and professor of agriculture at Yangzhou University.