“China harvested its first batch of “space rice” from seeds that returned from a lunar voyage last year, with scientists hoping it could help create new plant varieties and safeguard the country’s food security.
The crop was grown from the 40 grams of seeds that traveled with the Chang’e-5 lunar probe in November, state television reported. More tests and plantings are needed to determine the best varieties that could be promoted nationwide to help improve China’s grain harvest.
China’s ramped up its focus on food security and supply in the past year, boosting imports and urging greater self-sufficiency in staple crops to feed its population of 1.4 billion. The seed sector is a pillar of this push, with the government approving a plan on Friday to make seed sourcing a matter of strategic security and vowing support for research and agriculture projects….”