China’s Yuan Longping, ‘Father of Hybrid Rice,’ dies at 91

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Chinese scientist Yuan Longping, who developed higher-yield rice varieties that helped feed people around the world, has died. He was 91. Known as the “Father of Hybrid Rice,” Yuan spent his life researching rice and was a household name in China. Worldwide, a fifth of all rice now comes from species created by hybrid rice following Yuan’s breakthrough discoveries in the 1970s. That’s according to the World Food Prize, which Yuan won in 2004. China’s Xinhua News agency said he died Saturday at a hospital in the southern city of Changsha. Local media reported large crowds honored the scientist by marching past the hospital, calling out phrases such as “Grandpa Ye, have a good journey!”