Pakistan, Chinese researchers on the brink of hybrid rice breakthrough

Pakistani and Chinese researchers are close to developing a hybrid variety of ‘Basmati’ rice with an average per acre yield of 80 maunds (40 kilogrammes) and average grain length of 8mm and above, an industry official said. China’s Longping High-Tech Industries and Guard Agriculture Research and Services Private Ltd (Guard Agri) have been jointly working to create a high-yield hybrid basmati rice variety for the last five years.
‘We are very near to achieve our targets after a hard work of five to six years. Our scientists in alliance with the Chinese partners have grow 13 CMS lines out of which one variety is giving 75 maund per acres and average grain length of 7 mm, slightly short of the target of 80 maund per acre,’ said Chief Executive Guard Agri Shahzad Ali Malik. Malik said that scientists have been given the task that the variety they develop should be heat & drought tolerant and salinity resistant.
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