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Rice Article: China  

China wants tips from foreign agronomists
China Daily, July 13, 2004

China hopes agronomists from the World Food Prize Foundation will offer more suggestions to China for its agricultural development, said a leading official Tuesday in Beijing.

Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu made the remark when he met with Norman Borlaug, chairman of the World Food Prize Foundation.

Hui said China is a big agriculture nation and thus it is the priority task for the government to properly handle the work related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers.

China has scored tremendous achievements in agricultural development since the opening-up and reform policy was adopted in the late 1970s, Hui acknowledged. "With only nine percent of plowland and five percent of freshwater resources, China is able to sufficiently feed its population, which accounts for 21 percent of the world total."

Two Chinese farmers work in their field with a homemade plow which was converted from an old bicycle in central China's Henan province. This kind of bicycle-made plow is popular among local farmers for its convenience and cheapness. [newsphoto] He said China attaches great importance to grain production, which should be increased by relying on the use of science and technology, energy-saving and species-optimizing.

Borlaug, a noted expert on wheat and a Nobel Laureate for his contribution to world agriculture, said he appreciates the achievements China has made in agriculture and the living standards of the people. He said he hoped the foundation can step up cooperation in agricultural science and technology and food security.

The World Food Prize Foundation and the World Food Prize were established by Borlaug in 1986. The prize, renown as the highest prize in agriculture, is awarded once a year.

He Kang, former Chinese minister of agriculture, and Yuan Longping, one of the prestigious Chinese agronomists famed for his success in breeding hybrid rice, won the prize in 1993 and 2004 respectively.

Borlaug, currently visiting China as guest of the Ministry of Agriculture, has also met with Chinese experts and had an exchange of views with them.

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