Yuan Longping, A Scientist Of Eliminating Hunger In China

2021-05-25   |   by CusiGO

In China, famines were common decades ago, and the older generation is still suffering the consequences of famines. Yuan Longping, a 90 year old scientist who died last weekend, is a hero. Known as the “father of hybrid rice”, his work has doubled the yield of this grain and ensured food security in the world’s most populous country. Their research has benefited millions: one fifth of the rice grown on earth comes from their experiments.

“His achievements can be summed up in one sentence: he helped the world overcome hunger,” Hu Peisong, director of the National Rice Research Institute, told Xinhua on Saturday when he announced his death. His funeral in Changsha, central China, on Monday became a national event. Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a wreath; Other former leaders sent telegrams of sympathy; Thousands of people lined up to say goodbye to Lao yuan. Some florists present chrysanthemums to mourn; According to state media, taxi drivers provide free services for people attending funerals. ” My uncle starved to death; “My father said that thanks to yuan, this would not happen again,” a funeral assistant surnamed Cao told the global times.

The enthusiasm of the Chinese media for Chinese citizens has also been praised. They are eager to highlight the achievements of a local scientist, especially one dedicated to food safety, One of the main objectives of the Communist Party of China is that the government emphasizes the development of an economic model based on self-reliance and innovation.

Yuan Shikai, who is not interested in politics, has never been a member of the Communist Party of China. He always said that his goal is to “ensure that no one in the world goes hungry.”. He wanted to avoid famine during the Great Leap Forward period (1959-1963), when Mao Zedong’s guidelines tried to catch up with industrialized countries in a record time, resulting in food shortages and tens of millions of deaths. The scientist recalled the “heartbreaking scene of people dying of hunger on the journey.”.

Born in Beijing in September 1930, Mr. Yuan is the teacher’s son and the second of the six brothers. In his memoir, he said that his interest in agriculture stems from the school’s field trip to the farm. Although his parents had no special sympathy for his career, he studied agronomy in Southwest Agricultural University of Chongqing. He graduated from Southwest Agricultural University of Chongqing in 1953 and then transferred to Hunan Agricultural University, where he began his research career.

Driven by his obsession with increasing food production to protect ordinary people from hunger, he focused his experiments on rice, the food base of most Chinese people. In the 1960s, he came up with the idea of hybridizing sterile male rice with other varieties to create more samples of grain, but without success.

It was not until 1973 that his theory was realized. A wild rice from Hainan, a tropical island in southern China, allowed him to cross. New varieties produce 20% more grain than traditional varieties. The large-scale cultivation of “hybrid rice” began in 1976 when Mao Zedong died and the Cultural Revolution ended. According to Xinhua news agency, the increase in crops has increased China’s food supply by another 80 million people.

“Thanks to the RMB, China can support one fifth of the world’s population, even though it is only 9% of the world’s arable land,” has become a common point in China. According to the global times, more than 60 million countries have used varieties developed by scientists, and these varieties have entered the third generation, with a total area of more than 7 million hectares. The first export to the United States was in 1979.

During his lifetime, experts continued his research to adapt his varieties to different lands – the most drought resistant, tropical hot and humid, and even salt tolerant – and designed cultivation techniques to maximize the potential of their seeds.

Since the 1980s, he has become a celebrity in China. In the era when Chinese science is still far behind the west, he is an example of innovative researchers. In this era, Chinese science still lags behind the West and is affected by the cultural revolution of the past decade.

In 2004, he won the most prestigious World Food Prize in this field for his pioneering research on helping China transform from food shortage to food security in 30 years. Four years later, his popularity made him one of the flag bearers of the Chinese sports delegation at the Beijing Olympics. In 2019, he won the medal of the Republic, the highest honor awarded to him by the Chinese government.

Despite his age, he is still actively involved in the development of specimens. In March, two months before his death, he also visited the rice fields of Hainan research center.

On social media, a few hours after the funeral, Chinese citizens are paying homage to the scientist I have rice in my bowl and you in my heart. “Bon voyage, Mr. Yuan,” netizen beixianyi wrote on China’s Twitter microblog.