Changsha, China - Chinese scientist Yuan Longping has died in a hospital in Changsha at the age of 91. The top rice scientist was renowned for developing the first hybrid rice strain that pulled countless people out of hunger and had an immediate effect on boosting production when it went into full-scale use. His death is being mourned by those who have benefitted from his work to date as well as future generations whose lives will be impacted because he made this world's most important food staple more available than ever before.
Yuan Longping, the man who single-handedly saved millions of people from starvation by developing a strain of high-yielding rice in 1973 passed away this weekend at 91. Yuan's work has been adopted and replicated around the world to provide food for impoverished communities that can't grow their own crops.
The Chinese agronomist who developed the first hybrid rice varieties in the 1970s and was regarded as a national hero for boosting China's grain harvests died of organ failure on October 29th. The official Hunan Daily newspaper reported that Yuan had been hospitalized just after 1 pm, but there were some reports earlier which prompted the state broadcaster to issue an apology.
Yuan Longping, the Chinese farmer and scientist who has been credited for helping China become self-sufficient in food production and an increased world's output of rice is now being recognized internationally. In 2019 he was nominated to receive a Medal of the Republic for his contribution to science by increasing crop yield with GMO technology.
In 2014 Yuan said that genetic modification research on rice had helped him increase crop yields while working at China’s premier agricultural institute (CAAS).
Earlier this year, he became an overnight internet sensation after a video account titled “Chinese Pioneer Yuan Longping" was set up on Douyin where people can share short videos about their lives which broadcasts every day.
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