Yuan Longping, who recently participated in the awarding ceremony of the Medal of the Republic in Beijing, has returned to Hunan. Today (October 12), a reporter from the Beijing News met him, 90, at the National Hybrid Rice Engineering and Technology Research Center. He was wearing a white suit and a shirt with a pink collar. The whole person looked very energetic.
In an interview with a reporter from the Beijing News, he said that he had never thought about retirement and was most afraid of becoming dementia when he had nothing to do in his spare time. At present, the third generation of hybrid rice that he and his team are studying is sprinting toward 1,200 kilograms per mu.
The third generation hybrid rice experimental field waiting for yield measurement. New Beijing News reporter Wang Fei
Super rice is sprinting toward 1200 kilograms per mu
Beijing News: At present, how many kilograms per mu of hybrid rice are being produced?
Yuan Longping: A few days ago, when the General Secretary (when conferring the Medal of the Republic) asked him what progress rice had made, I said to the General Secretary that we are now sprinting towards 1,200 kilograms per mu (18 tons per hectare). He nodded his head to show that the General Secretary was very concerned about grain.
On October 22, there was a yield measurement. If the weather was good these days, the yield of hybrid rice per hectare would (possibly) reach 18 tons. If it rained overcast and sunshine was insufficient, it would be less than 18 tons. In the future, we will have to sprint to 20 tons of rice yield per hectare of experimental fields.
Beijing News: Whats the biggest wish nowadays?
Yuan Longping: Do I have two goals, one is to achieve high yields and the other is to achieve global coverage of hybrid rice? In Africa, Madagascar, as we are doing now, averages about 7 tons per hectare, while his crop yields only 2.5 tons to 3 tons per hectare.
Beijing News: Why should we share the achievements of hybrid rice with other countries?
Yuan Longping: Actually, we help Madagascar and other countries. They have no money. That is, China is getting rich now. We need to help him and support them in developing hybrid rice.
Beijing News: In addition to the rising yield of hybrid rice, are there other aspects of research, such as taste?
Yuan Longping: Let me tell you a story. In the last century, we need to solve the problem of food and clothing so that people can eat first. Now peoples living standards have improved. People are not satisfied with food and clothing. He still needs to eat well. So we also have a strategic adjustment.
Now we need not only high-yield, but also high-quality. The contradiction between high-quality and high-yield was not actually contradictory, but only difficult. Ill tell you this story. Last year in Qingdao, two food experts, a vice president of the Japan Rice Association, I gave him our super rice. He told us a good story, which is comparable to Yueguang. There is a rice variety called Yueguang in Japan. It sells 80 yuan a kilo in Beijing supermarket. Our yield per mu is much higher than Yueguang.
On the morning of October 12, Yuan Longping sat in the living room of the National Hybrid Rice Engineering and Technology Research Center and was interviewed by reporters. New Beijing News reporter Wang Fei
Yuan Longping said that his health has three factors
New Beijing News: Mr. Yuan, are you in good health when you are 90 years old?
Yuan Longping: The body is OK, that is, there is a wheezing disease. I have several health factors, the first is genetic health, my mother is very good health, she also lived to 90 years old, a fall made a fracture, and then very bad.
Beijing News: Do you have any exercise every day now?
Yuan Longping: I like sports. I like swimming and playing volleyball. It used to be a daily fight, but now its an occasional fight, which is the second factor of health; the third factor is that Im optimistic and outgoing, and dont care about trifles.
Beijing News: We found that although you are old, you are still very quick-witted.
Yuan Longping: According to a magazine I read, 60% of the elderly over 85 years old in China have different degrees of dementia. I went to the hospital this year to have a check-up. The doctor checked whether I had dementia. He said that the number of people aged 95 plus 13 was much. I answered directly. The doctor said that two digits could be calculated. There was no dementia and no dementia.
Beijing News: Have you ever thought about when to retire?
Yuan Longping: No thought about retirement. Once retired, there is nothing to do. There will be a sense of loss. Im a research person, Im finished if I cant do it. I still use my brain. Fortunately, I havent got dementia yet. Im afraid of dementia.
Yuan Longping: Everyone has a dream, but there is one. The ideal should be more elegant and forward looking.