The people of Pakistan have started to benefit from the fruits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the universities of Punjab and Wuhan are jointly developing high-yield hybrid rice varieties with the latest technologies like AI, big data, 5G and remote sensing to boost Pakistani rice exports.
This was stated by the forum of International Cooperation and Development of Honglian Type Hybrid Rice in Luotian, Hubei province of China.
These rice varieties are cultivated in Hubei province under the Wuhan University-University of the Punjab joint research centre.
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Honglian hybrid rice, developed by Professor Zhu Yinguo of Wuhan University – member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, is one of the world’s three major types of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) of rice (Oryza sativa L.) that has been commercially used in hybrid rice seed production.
By 2021, the accumulated acreage of Honglian hybrid rice globally has exceeded about 30 million hectares.
In 2019, the Wuhan University and the University of Punjab established cooperation ties to develop Honglian hybrid rice in Pakistan together.
In the past two years, Honglian hybrid rice achieved promising harvests in six demonstrative plots in Lahore, Gujranwala, Vehari, Pakpattan in Punjab and Shikarpur and Larkana in Sindh, basically covering main rice planting regions in Pakistan.
In 2020, three excellent varieties of Honglian hybrid were submitted to Pakistan’s regional trials for seed certification and registration, and the results indicated that the yield of Honglian hybrid rice performed distinctly higher than the check varieties among the total 104 hybrid rice varieties.
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It is worth mentioning that Honglian WR1901 had a high seed setting rate of 95% and a yield of 12.9 tonnes/ha, higher than that of the control group by 12.17%, which aroused great interest from local farmers and dealers.
The varieties were submitted in May for trials and the results will be made available in December, Zhu Renshan, Leader of Wuhan University-University of the Punjab Joint Research Centre for Honglian Type Hybrid Rice, told China Economic Net.
Now, more high-yield hybrid rice varieties are being cultivated which were inaugurated on April 23, 2021.
The base is being developed into a high-tech hybrid rice seed production base of complete mechanisation and intelligentisation.
So far, 80 hectares of land has been put into trial.
Rice production in Pakistan will improve due to the joint effort which will lift the country’s exports to others but also help safeguard the food securities of China and Pakistan.
(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)