Wuhan University and University of the Punjab are jointly developing high-yield hybrid rice varieties with AI, big data, 5G and remote sensing technologies, according to the Forum of International Cooperation & Development of Honglian Type Hybrid Rice in Luotian, Hubei Province. In Luotian those rice varieties are cultivated under the Wuhan University -University of the Punjab Joint Research Center for Honglian Type Hybrid Rice, says a report published by China Economic Net (CEN) on Tuesday. The Forum of International Cooperation & Development of Honglian Type Hybrid Rice concluded last week in Luotian, Hubei where high-yield rice varieties are cultivated under the Wuhan University-University of the Punjab Joint Research Center for Honglian Type Hybrid Rice. The Pakistani counterparts attend the forum online. [Photo/Wang Xiaotong]. Honglian hybrid rice, developed by Prof. Zhu Yinguo of Wuhan University, member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, is one of the world’s three major types of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) of rice (Oryza sativa L.) that has been commercially used in hybrid rice seed production. By 2021, the accumulated acreage of Honglian hybrid rice globally has exceeded about 30 million hectares. In 2019, Wuhan University and University of the Punjab established cooperation ties to develop Honglian hybrid rice in Pakistan together. In the past two years, Honglian hybrid rice achieved promising harvests in six demonstrative plots in Lahore, Gujranwala, Vehari, Pakpattan in Punjab, Shikar Pur and Larkana in Sindh, basically covering main rice planting regions in Pakistan. In 2020, three excellent varieties of Honglian hybrid were submitted to Pakistan’s regional trials for seed certification and registration, and the results indicated that the yield of Honglian hybrid rice performed distinctly higher than the check varieties among the total 104 hybrid rice varieties. “It’s worth mentioning that Honglian WR1901 had a high seed setting rate of 95% and a yield of 12.9 tons/ha, higher than that of the control group by 12.17%, which aroused great interest from local farmers and dealers. This May, the varieties submitted to trails again and the results will be got in December,” Zhu Renshan, Leader of Wuhan University-University of the Punjab Joint Research Center for Honglian Type Hybrid Rice, told China Economic Net. Now, more high-yield hybrid rice varieties are being cultivated in Luotian Base of Wuhan University-University of the Punjab Joint Research Center for Honglian Type Hybrid Rice, which inaugurated on April 23, 2021. The base is being developed into a high-tech hybrid rice seed production base of complete mechanization and intelligentization. So far, 80 hectares of land have been put into trial. With the two universities’ efforts, rice production in Pakistan may be improved, which will not only lift Pakistan’s exports to other countries but also help safeguard the two countries’ food security in the future.