China grows sea rice on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Chinese scientists have grown saline-alkali tolerant rice on a farm at an altitude of 2,800 meters in northwest China's Qinghai Province. This is the first trial of "sea rice-planting" on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

For thousands of years, rice has been planted in locations with high temperatures, humidity, and short days, but this farm on the plateau's Qaidam Basin, specifically, has a large area of saline-alkali land that makes it difficult for crops to grow. It is also frequently affected by drought, hail, frost, and natural disasters.

A team led by the "father of hybrid rice" Yuan Longping has worked on the research to yield more rice in saline-alkali environments.

Pastures and villages under the mountains of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. /VCG

Pastures and villages under the mountains of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. /VCG

Last week, researchers from the Qingdao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center moved strains of cold- and alkali-resistant rice they cultivated from a greenhouse to the saline-alkali soil on the plateau for trial planting.

They plan to plant 6.67 hectares during the trial and use manual and mechanical methods to conduct observation and provide samples for future large-scale planting, said the center engineer Zhang Guodong.

Since 2019, the center has promoted sea rice in seven major saline-alkaline areas in China and the United Arab Emirates.

According to researchers, new experimental centers and planting bases will be established in Qinghai in order to explore new ways for plateau agricultural production.

(Cover image via VCG)

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Source(s): Xinhua News Agency