China’s hybrid wheat helps accelerate the production of wheat in the Belt and Road countries. Countries where wheat production is not as high despite it being the largest food crop, especially Pakistan, can use the hybrid wheat to notch up their production.
China is the world leader when it comes to research and development in advanced agricultural systems and hybrid wheat varieties.
Collaboration With China
To counter the low production, the governments of Pakistan and China have collaborated for the hybrid wheat plantation. For this, around 150 Chinese experts have visited Pakistan to train the local farmers and agricultural experts across 20 cities.
Beijing Hybrid Wheat Engineering Technology Research Center and Chinese Hybrid Wheat Company are working together with the University of Agriculture Peshawar and Jiade Agricultural Company since 2012 and more than 120 hybrids have been planted across 230 locations. The yield has shown a tremendous growth of 24.4%.
Hybrid wheat varieties are not only useful in South Asia but Africa and Europe as well. Sinochem Group’s Vice President for Agricultural Division, Song Weibo says:
In the future, Sinochem Group will cultivate a number of high-yield, high-quality, and resistant wheat varieties that are suitable for Central and South Asian countries along the Belt and Road. We will also establish hybrid wheat cultivation and demonstration bases in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe. The Asia-Africa-Europe hybrid wheat demonstration and application network will simultaneously create a responsible and reciprocal community for cooperation in hybrid wheat planting technology and industrial development.
Manager of the research department of the Chinese Hybrid Wheat Company, Zhang Shengquan believes that the hybrid wheat is far more efficient than the traditional varieties in many ways:
Compared with traditional varieties, second-generation hybrid wheat consistently holds higher wheat yield results, and also has strong resistance and lower seed consumption, which is good for middle and low-yield fields. It can be planted from the 25 parallel north, such as Karachi, Pakistan, all the way to 40 north.
The total planting area of countries along the Belt and Road is 6.6 million and wheat is one of the most important crops, even then, some of these countries’ wheat production is lower than the world average and there is a huge room for improvement in the yield which can be achieved through hybrid wheat.