Bumper harvest of Songjiang rice in Yunnan

Songjiang rice introduced to Menghai County in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province brought farmers in the region a bumper harvest in 2020, with yield per mu reaching 700 kilograms.  

It was the third year since Songjiang rice was introduced to Menghai County and the second year since Yan Wenzhang, a villager of Mangen Village in Menghai County, started planting the variety in his hometown.

“In spite of the fact that we had drought in 2020, I still made a fortune out of last year’s harvest. Compared with the local rice variety, the 12-mu Songjiang rice I am planting achieved an increase in yield by 100 kilograms. If the rice is sold at 3.2 yuan (50 US cents) per kilogram, I will have an additional yearly income of 4,000 yuan. So I am planning to increase my planting area of Songjiang rice to about 20 mu in 2021,” said Yan.

Songjiang officials assisting Yunnan Province introduced Songjiang No. 1018 rice to Menghai County in Yunnan in 2017.

In the past three years, the rice variety has reported successive yearly harvests. The county’s total 245 mu of Songjiang rice now has a yearly yield of above 700 kilograms per mu, higher than the local No. 502 Yunnan rice, whose yield per mu is estimated at 570 kilograms.

In addition, the Yunnan-produced Songjiang No. 1018 rice gained popularity among villagers thanks to its fragrance, good appearance and taste.

The successful planting of a rice variety from a low-altitude region to a high-altitude region has been achieved thanks to efforts of both agricultural experts and officials assisting the province.

“Agricultural experts from Songjiang District visited Menghai County several times yearly. They did field studies and offered one-to-one guidance for the farmers,” said an agricultural official from Menghai County.

“The purpose of our introducing the Songjiang rice variety to Menghai is to both help alleviate poverty through increased yield and teach men how to fish instead of simply giving them a fish,” said Wang Fuyou, an official from Songjiang who is deputy chief of Menghai County.