BEIJING: A team led by renowned Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping may be able to produce a type of hybrid “super rice” that boasts a unit output of 13.5 tonnes per hectare in 2010 at the earliest.

“Yuan was quite confident of achieving the goal,” Qing Xianguo, an assistant to Mr. Yuan, told a press conference here on Wednesday. Mr. Yuan was not present as he was not feeling well. In 2000 and 2004, Mr. Yuan successfully bred a super rice strain that could produce 10.5 tonnes and 12 tonnes from a hectare, respectively.

Mr. Qing said Mr. Yuan might continue to raise the unit output to 15 tonnes per hectare. The maximum output for such hybrid rice could reach 22.5 tonnes per hectare in the central Hunan Province where Mr. Yuan usually worked. — Xinhua