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Seeds reap rewards in BRI regions

2019-10-30 09:18:46 China Daily

China’s exports of homegrown, high-end seeds to ries and regions involved in the BRI have seen a major surge in recent years, according to the head of the sector’s top business chamber in China.

China's exports of homegrown, high-end seeds to countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative have seen a major surge in recent years, according to the head of the sector's top business chamber in China.

"The exports of such seeds not only benefit the production volume of BRI countries and regions, but also lead to greater momentum in developed countries including Australia and some European Union countries," said Tian Weihong, secretary-general of the China National Seed Trade Association under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

A prime example are the 12 new varieties of broccoli, a research fruition of the Tianjin Academy of Agricultural Sciences, which have seen a sharp growth in exports, from 1,500 kilograms in 2017 to 3,500 kg this year.

"The seeds have been exported and planted in Pakistan, India and Vietnam, a departure from past times when China used to import broccoli from overseas," said Shan Xiaozheng, who heads broccoli research at the academy.

Shan attributed the surge in exports to research and development efforts at the academy.

"We have conducted genome sequencing research on up to 6,800 varieties of the vegetable," he said.

This year, the academy completed the world's first genome sequencing of cauliflower, positioning China at the pinnacle of the world's cauliflower research.

Broccoli is a branch under the cauliflower, and dedicated efforts in the breeding of the domestically developed, high-end varieties have paid off, the researcher said.

In addition, Tianjin Food Group announced dual harvest in both its domestic and Bulgaria-based projects this October.

Company insiders say that its farmlands, based in the municipality of Parvomay in Bulgaria, have seen their greatest harvest over the past four years, and the volume of paddy rice will grow by 23 percent on average to hit 8,208 kg per hectare.

"This great harvest is a result of the seeds cultivated by the academy and the group," said Zhang Yong, Tianjin Food Group's CEO.

In the farmlands, the food group plants paddy rice, rapeseed, sunflower and corn and provides professional experts to support the planting.

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