Saturday, May 28, 2022

Saline-alkali tolerant rice or "seawater rice": The future of food security



 China is home to 100 million hectares of wasteland – that's an area the size of Egypt – where crops cannot grow due to high soil salinity or alkalinity. For decades, the Chinese government and scientists have made great efforts to improve soil quality, and now, hope is on the horizon. A hybrid crop called "saltwater rice" is able to grow and yield in various saline-alkali soils, including tundra and dessert.

Many places across China have launched a new round of saline-alkali tolerant rice - or better known as "seawater rice" -  transplanting this week, aiming to increase output as the country strives to ensure food security amid an increasingly uncertain global food market.

The domestic planting area of "seawater rice" surpassed 600,000 mu (40,000 hectares) by the end of 2021, and it is projected to exceed 1 million mu in 2022, the Qingdao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center told the Global Times.
***   The species of rice are transplanting can grow in saline water with concentrations of eight per 1,000, and its output per mu can reach about 450 kilograms, about half of the regular rice output. Even though the output of saline-alkali tolerant rice is low, it is better than having nothing produced from "wasted" land.

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