China has one of the richest genetic diversities of rice in the world – boasting some 75,000 strains. Rice is vital to China's food supply and it is also at the heart of its culture.
But with cities growing and swallowing up land and the population rising, China needs to improve its yields. Some scientists think GM farming is the answer and the government has approved trials of insect and disease resistant crops.
Chinese environmentalists are fighting the move. But what do farmers make of the debate? Chen Xuefei visited farmers in north China's Tangshan area.