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China promotes hybrid rice in Nepal

On Apr. 12, 2019, the 3rd International Forum on Rice (Sanya, China) was held in Sanya, Hainan Province. The Forum revealed that China's promotion of hybrid rice in Nepal has achieved initial success.


Nepal is a typical agricultural country. Agriculture is the lifeblood of its economy and its largest industry. Its output value accounts for about 40% of the national GDP. The area of ​​cultivated land in Nepal is 3.1 million hectares, accounting for 18% of the total area.


Rice crops in Nepal mainly include rice, corn, wheat, barley and millet. Rice is the most important staple food for Nepalese. Nepal's rice producing areas are concentrated in the Terai Plain, with up to three ripening a year. According to the statistics of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the harvested area of ​​rice in Nepal in 2015 was 1.5 million hectares, with a yield of about 3.4 tonnes/ha and a total output of 5.23 million tonnes. In 2016, Nepal exported 241 tonnes of rice with an export value of USD208,000.


It is understood that due to the lack of high-yield and high-quality rice seeds, Nepal's food production has not been able to meet domestic demand. In 2016, Nepal imported 537,700 tonnes of rice from countries such as India, with an import value of USD232 million.


In Apr. 2015, China and Nepal signed an exchange of letters. China is responsible for assisting Nepal's agricultural technology cooperation project.


The project is mainly divided into two parts:

1.          The introduced hybrid rice and maize in China would be carried out experiments and cultivation demonstrations in the field of Nepal, and the best quality hybrid rice and maize varieties would be selected for local trials.

2.          Train local agricultural managers in Nepal.


The first phase of the cooperation project began in Feb. 2016 for a period of three years and would be completed by Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Co., Ltd. (Longping High-Tech) and the Nepal Agricultural Research Institute. Currently, the project has introduced 67 hybrid rice varieties and tested in various regions of Nepal. Another species was approved by the Seed Quality Management Center of the Ministry of Agriculture Development of Nepal.


The promotion of Chinese hybrid rice varieties in Nepal has achieved initial results. In 2018, China's hybrid rice planted in 4 provinces in Nepal reached 300 hectares, and rice fields increased production from 40% to doubling; and more than 1,000 people gained knowledge training during the promotion process.


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