China is about to introduced genetically modified rice on a large scale, according a report quoting the head of a ‘super’ rice breeding programme.

“It would boost China’s rice output by 30 billion kilogrammes a year. That’s enough to feed 70 million more people,” Yuan Longping, head of China’s super hybrid rice scheme, told the Changsha Evening News in an AFP report carried on channelnewsasia.

He said that the new strains of rice still had to pass official testing, expected to be done later this year, before they are promoted for wide scale production.

The suppliers of the new rice say it will enable farmers to cut pesticide use. They also say it will mean better yields and higher quality, resulting in improved incomes for the farmers.

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