On Madagascar's 20,000-ariary banknote, the largest denomination in the country, the pattern of Chinese hybrid rice is particularly eye-catching. This is the highest tribute paid by the country's government and people to the fruitful results brought about by the rice.
Madagascar has a population of 25 million, 85 percent of whom work in agriculture. However, the country had been not self-sufficient in food with about 2 million people facing famine. To help Madagascar solve this problem, the Chinese government launched an agricultural technology demonstration project in 2007 and carried out hybrid rice technical assistance in the country. Several teams of Chinese experts were dispatched to Madagascar to work on research, demonstration and promotion of hybird rice, which yielded great success. The average yield of hybrid rice per unit area was more than two times higher than that of local varieties. Madagascar now has the largest planting area and highest yield of hybrid rice in Africa.
Nowadays, when it comes to hybrid rice, people in Madagascar call it "the best thing". Driven by the aid project, the two countries are working together to invest in the establishment of a rice seed breeding base to promote large-scale production of hybrid rice. Madagascar is witnessing the independent and sustainable development of hybrid rice.