Sea rice has now matured across desert fields in Dubai, with yields greater than the global average output per hectare of 4.5 tons, Science and Technology Daily reported on July 22.
Scientists with China's Qingdao Seawater Rice Research and Development Center, led by renowned rice scientist Yuan Longping, chose 80 suitable rice varieties, including the sea rice, for the trial beginning on Jan. 8.
In order to grow rice in desert conditions, the scientists had to improve the land conditions by developing a new plant protection system that saves freshwater and avoids secondary salinization of soil.
Under a framework agreement named “Green Dubai” signed by both the Qingdao R&D center and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) side, later this year the team will plant rice on Dubai’s farmlands on a larger scale, to test and establish the prime mode for planting. The Qingdao R&D center and the UAE government also plan to set up a 100-hectare seawater rice experiment farm next year under the framework agreement.
Long term, Yuan’s team plans to help extend the coverage of seawater rice to over 10 percent of Dubai’s total area.
(Source: People's Daily Online, July 24, 2018)