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During the Second Approval Meeting of the National Crop Variety Approval Committee held on 21 December, 2018, there were 115 corn varieties passed the review. Early in September 2018, another 516 corn varieties gained such approvals. In total, the number of corn varieties granted with national approval rose from 171 in 2017 to 631 in 2018 by 269%.
Corn is not the only crop registering growth in variety approval quantity. Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China (MARA) showed that the total variety number of five key crops in the country (rice, corn, wheat, soybean and cotton) gaining national approval has been climbing during the past three years from 165 in 2016, 406 in 2017 to 1,076 in 2018.
Figure 1: Quantity of new varieties of the five key crops gaining national approval in 2016–2018
Note: The five key crops include corn, wheat, rice, soybean and cotton.
Source: the National Crop Variety Approval Committee
If provincial approvals get counted, a total of 3,499 new varieties of the five key crops passed the national approval in 2018, up 47.0% from 2,388 in 2017.