As the old Chinese saying goes, “Humanity’s most fundamental relationship is with what we eat.” Although food has played an important part in Chinese culture for years, hunger had been a huge problem in the country until the 1970s. However, the Chinese scientist Yuan Longping helped to deal with this problem.
On Sept 8, Yuan, together with two other scientists, won China’s 2018 Future Science Prize. Even on his 88th birthday on Sept 7, he took part in the International Development Meeting of Rice Production in Hunan Province. Although he was recovering from an illness at the time, he was happy to talk to reporters about his latest work with seawater rice.
And thanks to China’s Belt and Road initiative, Yuan’s hybrid(杂交的) rice is helping to solve food problems around the world. With a rising reputation around the world, Yuan delivered a speech in English at the 9th Shandong High-Level Talents Forum in Qingdao last year. But in spite of his great knowledge, Yuan understands that even the wisest people should still be open to learning new things. “The farmers of our country possess rich experience in planting rice,” he told Xinhua. “We should learn from them.”