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China’s rural potato farmers embrace e-commerce

According to a report by China Global Television Network (CGTN), smallholder farmers in China’s northern Hebei Province are now enthusiastically taking part in an e-commerce program created by Mecai, a Beijing-based online fresh food supplier.

The company started this program several years ago, creating its e-commerce platform as an answer to the State Council’s call to boost and innovate rural agricultural services.

“We’ve created a direct link for farmers and cooperatives to ship their goods directly to restaurants in cities across the nation, cutting out the middle-man to leave farmers with more profits,” said Meng Lingwei, manager of the company’s vegetable department, adding that his company also provides technical support, including seed selection, sowing, fertilization, and watering.

“My potato field used to be small, around 100 mu (7 hectares), but now it’s 10 times bigger. The produce also went up from 200 to 3,000 tonnes per season,” Zhang, Zhang Baoli, a local farmer from Mongolian Autonomous County told CGTN.

“The potato production industry has contributed immensely to the alleviation of poverty in the Weichang County. We produce over 700,000 mu (50,000 ha) of potatoes in total,” said Ding Mingya, agronomist at Weichang’s Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Bureau. Online sales of agricultural products in China’s rural areas exceeded 250 billion yuan (36.8 billion US dollars) last year.

That accounted for 20 percent of the total e-commerce transaction volume. And the number is estimated to reach 800 billion yuan (US$117.6 billion) by 2020.

Watch a video on the CGTN website:

Source: Global Potato News

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