- In 1973, Longping developed the world's first high-yield hybrid rice strain, which produced 20% more rice per acre than non-hybrid varieties. That means his innovations helped feed an extra 70 million people per year.
- The backstory: China suffered a disastrous famine in the early 1960s as a result of Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward plan to collectivize agriculture.
- Yuan said his experiences of seeing people starving to death led him to research rice, which serves as the primary grain for half the world's population.
- Yuan's breakthroughs turned him into a national hero in China. He crisscrossed the globe introducing his rice hybrids to farmers in lower-income nations.
Read the original story here.
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