China’s Space Seed Breeding Technology: Will it Solve the Food Security Problem?

According to China’s state-run Global Times, the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft has embarked on a “breeding journey to space” to improve food security.

The report says China has licensed space seed breeding that uses cosmic radiation to mutate the genes of seeds sent into space to create a new species.

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The newspaper said 12,000 seeds were used in the experiment along with edible mushrooms, cabbage, rice, oats and clover used during Shenzhou’s 183-day journey into space.

The Global Times report said clover, which is a key animal feed product, is in short supply in the country.

Food security is one of the main obstacles for China. A report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) said President Xi Jinping recognizes the need to ensure the country’s food security amid the pandemic. China’s food system has been hit by COVID-19 and natural disasters over the past two years.

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The World Economic Forum said the country needs to stabilize its food and corn production and expand its soybean and oilseed production. China is currently ranked 34th on the global food security index comprising 113 countries. The WEF said climate change is the biggest factor hampering its food security.

Lockdown-hit Shanghai has seen food shortages, including the city of Xi’an in China, which faced severe food shortages due to a partial lockdown earlier this year.

(With agency contributions)

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