Wednesday, January 15, 2014

IRRI scientist recognized for contributing in the development of Anhui province

Fangming Xie, hybrid rice breeder at IRRI, is one of 15 chosen to receive the Anhui Friendship Award for his contributions to the social and economic development of Anhui Province in China.

Dr. Xie, the only one among the awardees who is from the agriculture sector, helped the Anhui Academy of Agricultural Science (AAAS) develop drought-tolerant rice varieties suited for a rice-wheat cropping system. One of the varieties, Green Drought I,  does not require much water to cultivate nor extensive land preparation to embank water.

Green Drought I can be sown directly after wheat is harvested, a common practice for local farmers in Anhui Province. It yields up to 6 tons, and its seeds can be saved by farmers for growing in the next cropping season if they choose to, since the variety is an inbred type. It had been released for commercial production.

More than 300 hybrid rice breeding lines have been shared with the AAAS through the Hybrid Rice Development Consortium (HRDC), which Dr. Xie leads, since the academy became a consortium member in 2008. These hybrid rice breeding lines could later be developed into new rice varieties.

The AAAS nominated Dr. Xie for the award. "It made me happy because I consider it our duty to share our knowledge and products, and we succeeded," he said.

He was presented the award by Wang Xuejun, governor of Anhui Province, on 9 January 2014.

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