Global Agriculture

E-commerce boosts Chinese farmers’ income

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14 January 2021, Vietnam: E-commerce has greatly helped bump up the income of Chinese farmers, said Zeng Yande, Director-General of MARA Department of Development and Planning, at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office of China on Jan. 13, 2021. 

Director-General Zeng Yande stated that online sale of agricultural products has represented a highlight of farmers’ income growth. In 2019, rural online retail sales neared 400 billion yuan (about US$61.9 billion). Quite a few farmers have turned to short videos or live streaming to sell their homegrown produce. In this way, they’ve managed to get higher prices and register higher income. Going forward, e-commerce will play a greater role in boosting rural income.   

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Currently 4G networks communication has covered 98% incorporated villages in China, including those once classified as impoverished areas. China will continue improving communication infrastructure. New infrastructure projects and 5G network facilities are being rolled out in rural areas, which will further propel the development of agricultural e-commerce. 

Business startup and innovation is more vibrant in rural area. In recent years, both returning migrant workers and tech personnel have become the main players in rural e-commerce by developing new industries and modes of business, and serving as an important force for the advancement of the rural e-commerce sector. So far, the number of people engaged in entrepreneurship and innovation has exceeded 10 million.  

Logistics systems in rural areas are getting better. Fresh agricultural products, including some local specialties from remote areas, can be delivered quickly and directly to consumers via e-platforms. 

With good momentum in e-commerce and accelerated implementation of “digital China” initiative in China, rural e-commerce will boost farmers’ income growth, transformation and upgrading of rural economy in the years ahead.   

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