Good news from China : salt water rice

“Ethical Markets has been pointing to the need to use salt-loving plants (halophytes) in human foods for decades, See for example our TV show “Investing in Desert Greening” and our Green Transition Scoreboard 2014 “Plenty of Water”!.

Good news from China: rice grown in salt water is now on the market! It’s a special, delicacy, like another salt-loving plant: quinoa and still at a premium price.  At last, these success stories may break through the theory-induced blindness in most places that still focus only of freshwater plants (glyophytes), even as fresh water is only 3%, while saltwater is 97% on planet Earth!         ~Hazel Henderson, Editor”

Salt water resistant rice can boost harvest by nearly 20 per cent

Rice grown on a commercial scale in diluted seawater has, for the first time, made it into the rice bowls of ordinary Chinese people after a breakthrough in food production following more than four decades of efforts by farmers, researchers, government agencies and businesses.

The rice was not grown in traditional rice paddy, where fields are filled with fresh water, but on a salty beach on the Yellow Sea coast in Qingdao, Shandong.

China has one million square kilometers of waste land, an area the size of Ethiopia, where plants struggle to grow because of high salinity or alkalinity levels in the soil.

Agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, known as China’s “father of hybrid rice”, told mainland media that if a tenth of such areas were planted with rice species resistant to salt, they could boost China’s rice production by nearly 20 per cent.

They could produce 50 million tonnes of food, enough to feed 200 million people.

Last month, at the nation’s largest seawater rice farm, in Qingdao, the output of Yuan’s seawater rice exceeded 4.5 tonnes a hectare.

Yuan Ce Biological Technology, a Qingdao-based start-up and business partner of Yuan’s team, said it set up an online shop in August, branding the rice “Yuan Mi” in honour of the project’s chief scientist.

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