Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development

Pushing the Yield Frontier

Hybrid rice in China

Jiming Li, Yeyun Xin, and Longping Yuan

Key period: 1977–present

Geographic region: China

The intervention: Through the efforts of plant scientists, seed producers, extension agents, and farmers, China became the first country to develop and commercialize hybrid rice. With average yields that exceed those of other cultivated rice varieties by between 15 and 31 percent, hybrid rice has allowed China to feed an additional 60 million people per year, while reducing the land allocated to rice production by 14 percent since 1978. Hybrid rice now accounts for 63 percent of all land under rice cultivation and has spawned a vibrant rice seed industry.

Book Chapter:
Pushing the Yield Frontier: Hybrid rice in China**
Jiming Li, Yeyun Xin, and Longping Yuan
Download (PDF 414K)

Discussion Paper:
Hybrid rice technology development: Ensuring China's food security
Li, Jiming; Xin, Yeyun; Yuan, Longping. 2009. IFPRI Discussion Paper 918.
Download (PDF 680K)