Prof. Yuan Longping (middle) with Dr Stella Ennin (3rd left) and some of the women entrepreneurs of the First Lady's entourage
Prof. Yuan Longping (middle) with Dr Stella Ennin (3rd left) and some of the women entrepreneurs of the First Lady's entourage

CRI, Chinese centre sign agreement on rice research

The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has signed an agreement with the Hunan Hybrid Rice Research Centre (HHRRC) of China to undertake research into rice to improve the quality and increase the yield of local rice.


Under the agreement, the HHRRC will provide technical support for the CRI to grow high-yielding hybrid rice.

Currently, Ghana imports over $600 million worth of rice annually. The expectation is that the cultivation of hybrid rice will boost the country’s production, as well as the quality of local rice.

The HHRRC is a specialised institution for hybrid rice research and technology transfer in China.

The centre engages in applied and academic research activities on the development and application of rice hybrids with stronger heterosis, multiple resistances and improved grain and seed quality.

The Director of the CRI, Dr Stella Ennin, signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on behalf of the institute when the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, visited China with women entrepreneurs to look for investment opportunities.

The Director, International Division, China National Hybrid R&D Centre (HHRRC), Dr Cao Nengliang, signed on behalf of the centre.

During the trip, the women entrepreneurs, who included contractors, hoteliers and other business owners, met with investors in their areas of business.

Read also: MTN secures GH¢510m syndicated loan facility


In an interview, Dr Ennin said the MoU, which was an Agriculture Cooperation Project, would enable scientists from Ghana to under-study their counterparts at the HHRRC to acquire the technology.

That, she said, would help the country increase its rice yield, as well as improve on its quality.

She explained that rice was a self-pollinated crop and, therefore, did not produce high-yielding seedlings.

However, she explained, a Chinese scientist, Professor Yuan Longping, considered the father of hybrid rice, found a male sterility of rice which he used as an initial breeding material of male sterile lines to produce hybrid rice.

She said although scientists in Ghana had developed varieties of rice, they had not been able to develop hybrid rice, saying the agreement with the HHRRC would be a big boost for the country’s rice production.

Dr Ennin, who was full of joy to meet the ‘Father of Hybrid Rice’ at the HHRRC when the First Lady and her entourage toured the facility, said the meeting was an opportunity which her institute had always been looking forward to and expressed gratitude for the opportunity.

Hybrid rice

Prof. Longping is the Director-General of the HHRRC and he initiated hybrid rice research in China in 1964. He was awarded China’s first special class National Invention Prize in 1981.

The HHRRC has been involved in China’s South-South Cooperation (SSC) programme, particularly with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

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