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Father of Hybrid Rice -- Yuan Longping

Yuan Longping, a Chinese agriculturalist, was born in Qianyang, Hunan Province in 1930. Professor Yuan graduated from Southwest Agriculture College in 1953 and has since devoted himself to agricultural education and research. He is currently an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Director General of China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center, Honorary President of the Hunan Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China and Vice-Chairman of Hunan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Professor Yuan was a pioneer in hybrid rice research and made remarkable achievements in this area, first developing hybrid rice in the world. The achievements of Yuan Longping greatly solved the food shortage, and provided as a solution the worldwide starvation. It is regarded as the fifth invention after China's Four Major Inventions, and is acclaimed as the Second Green Revolution. He was awarded with many international awards, such as Gold Medal Award for the Outstanding Inventor of the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization, Science Prize of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Rank Prize for Agronomy and Nutrition of the United Kingdom, Medal of Honor for Food Security and Sustainable Development of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and Fukui International Koshihikari Rice Prize of Japan. 

Yuan Longping started the research of indica hybrid in 1964. At the beginning, he discovered male-sterile rice. Then he brought forward h third hybriding paddy and carried out experiments on farmland. Yuan Longping made breakthrough in 1973. He was the first person to develop indica hybrid rice. The new technology was tested in many areas of South China in 1974 and 1975, and then extended to other areas. China became the first country that is capable of producing hybrid rice. Yuan Longping is the first scientist who successfully altered the self-pollinating characteristic of rice and realized large-scale farming of hybrid rice. This earned him the title "Father of Hybrid Rice". 

His pioneering work in hybrid rice breeding and production techniques has revolutionized rice cultivation in China, establishing China's world leading position in hybrid rice research. From 1976 to 1987, the total cultivated area of the hybrid rice developed by Yuan reached 1.1 billion mu (15 mu=1 hectares), and increased rice yield by 100 billion kg. In 1979, the hybrid rice was transferred as China's first agro-technology patent to the United States. At present, the hybrid rice developed by Yuan is planted on the farmlands all over China, which played an important role in increasing China's grain production. It made possible the feeding of 22% of the world population on only 7% of the world's total arable land.

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