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2021-05-24 11:22:15

Yuan Longping, the renowned agricultural scientist who became a household name in China, died of organ failure on Saturday, over a month after suffering a fall at his research base.

Born in 1930, Yuan was widely regarded as a national hero for developing hybrid rice varieties that fed tens of millions of people in China each year, beginning in the 1970s.

On Sunday, more than 100,000 people braved the rain in Changsha, capital of the central Hunan province, to visit the funeral home where his body lies, hoping to pay their respects.

Meanwhile, in the metropolis of Chongqing, people have flocked to Southwest University, where a young Yuan had studied agriculture, and left flowers at the statue built there to honor him.

And in the island province of Hainan, people turned up at the Sanya Hybrid Rice Research Base, where Yuan had been perfecting breeds of rice that could withstand water with higher salt concentrations, to pay tribute.

People with umbrellas wait in line in the rain to bid farewell to Yuan Longping outside the Mingyangshan Funeral Home, where his body lies, in Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. Yang Huafeng/CNS/People Visual

People with umbrellas wait in line in the rain to bid farewell to Yuan Longping outside the Mingyangshan Funeral Home, where his body lies, in Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. Yang Huafeng/CNS/People Visual

People wait in line to pay tribute to Yuan Longping at the Mingyangshan Funeral Home in Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. People Visual

People wait in line to pay tribute to Yuan Longping at the Mingyangshan Funeral Home in Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. People Visual

People gather to celebrate and remember Yuan Longping at the Mingyangshan Funeral Home in Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. People Visual

People gather to celebrate and remember Yuan Longping at the Mingyangshan Funeral Home in Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. People Visual

A paper sign in a taxi’s windshield reads “Free ride for those going to bid farewell to Yuan Longping at the Mingyangshan Funeral Home,” Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. People Visual

A paper sign in a taxi’s windshield reads “Free ride for those going to bid farewell to Yuan Longping at the Mingyangshan Funeral Home,” Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. People Visual

People gather to celebrate and remember Yuan Longping at the Mingyangshan Funeral Home in Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. People Visual

People gather to celebrate and remember Yuan Longping at the Mingyangshan Funeral Home in Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. People Visual

A man writes a note to Yuan Longping at the Mingyangshan Funeral Home in Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. People Visual

A man writes a note to Yuan Longping at the Mingyangshan Funeral Home in Changsha, Hunan province, May 23, 2021. People Visual

A picture from a Changsha resident shows Yuan Longping (left) looking out over lush rice paddies in Hunan province, May 24, 2021. People Visual

A picture from a Changsha resident shows Yuan Longping (left) looking out over lush rice paddies in Hunan province, May 24, 2021. People Visual

People leave flowers and other mementos at the statue of Yuan Longping on the campus of his alma mater, Southwest University, in Chongqing, May 23, 2021. People Visual

People leave flowers and other mementos at the statue of Yuan Longping on the campus of his alma mater, Southwest University, in Chongqing, May 23, 2021. People Visual

Sailors in uniform stand in silent tribute to Yuan Longping at the Sanya Hybrid Rice Research Base in Hainan province, May 24, 2021. People Visual

Sailors in uniform stand in silent tribute to Yuan Longping at the Sanya Hybrid Rice Research Base in Hainan province, May 24, 2021. People Visual

Editor: David Paulk.