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China's record rice yield -- a blessing for global grain consumers

18 tons per hectare shows China remains committed to feeding its 1.4bn people

Despite an increasingly wealthy population with changing dietary habits, China continues to strive to make its rice paddies more productive.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- For a second year in a row China has set a record for rice production, this time with a yield of more than 18 tons on a hectare. This is almost three times the average in neighboring Japan, where farmers favor flavor over quantity and do not have 1.4 billion people to nourish.

The record was set in an experimental paddy in the northern province of Hebei that had been planted with a variety known as Xiangliangyou 900. A team of researchers led by Yuan Longping, China's "father of hybrid rice," developed the varietal.

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