File photo taken on Aug. 19, 2013 shows Yuan Longping inspecting the trial plantation of hybrid rice at Guanyang County, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Chinese scientist Yuan Longping, renowned for developing the first hybrid rice strain that pulled countless people out of hunger, died of illness at 91 on Saturday. (Xinhua/Lu Boan)
BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has extended condolences to the family of scientist Yuan Longping, known as "father of hybrid rice," who died on Saturday at the age of 91.
Xu visited Yuan's family on Sunday and conveyed Xi's mourning for Yuan's passing.
Born in 1930, Yuan succeeded in cultivating the world's first high-yield hybrid rice strain in 1973, which was later grown on a large scale in China and other countries to substantially raise output.
Over the next four decades, he continued to research and upgrade hybrid rice, which has now reached its third generation.
In the message, Xi highly affirmed Yuan's contribution to China's food security, innovation in agricultural technology, and world grain development.
Xi urged Party members, cadres, and science and technology professionals to learn from Yuan, particularly his love for the Party, the motherland and the people, dedication to the needs of the motherland and the people, and other noble qualities.
Yuan's family members expressed their gratitude and said they would carry forward Yuan's legacy to make new contributions to society.