EYEAFRICA TV: Taishan City, Guangdong Province, South China: A 750-mu (about 50 hectares) saline-alkali-soil plot in Taishan City, south China’s Guangdong Province yielded a total output of nearly 350 tons of sea rice, or an average 7,000 kilograms per hectare.
The total output reached nearly 350,000 kilograms. Farmers are enjoying the pleasure of harvest in field which was a vast area of wasteland two years ago.
“The 750-mu field has been wasteland since 1983. Nothing grows there,” said Li Zhiyong, Party secretary of Haiyan Town.
Some parts of wasteland have even become garbage dump as its high salinity make it unable to be used as paddy field on a large scale as in plains.
To prevent the deterioration of ecological environment, a research team of Guangdong Ocean University at the beginning of this year brought seeds that can grow in fields with salinity of 0.12 percent. Normally, if the salinity of the field exceeds 0.3 percent, the rice will be unable to survive.
“The seed can tolerate salinity less than 0.12 percent. Now we have it hybridized with other rice varieties, hoping to increase the output. So farmers can plant it everywhere,” said Chen Qilong, manager of the planting project.
Guangdong Province has 3 million mu (about 200,000 hectares) saline-alkali soil, according to data from provincial Department of Natural Resources, nearly 60,000 mu (4,000 hectares) of which will be planted with sea rice in Taishan, as an important part of efforts to tackle food problems and lessen the pressure on land.