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Farmers grow crop sales online

By ZHANG YU and YUAN HUI in Bayannur, Inner Mongolia | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-01 08:09

Farmers in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region are connecting with new technology, as well as the land, to sell their produce.

Hetao E-commerce Industrial Park in Wuyuan county of Bayannur League has helped them sell their agricultural goods online and increase their incomes.

The State-owned enterprise was founded in 2015 with 100 million yuan ($15 million) funding. It was set up to increase distribution channels for agricultural produce.

Farmers can entrust their crops or livestock to 2,000 staff involved in e-commerce transactions, logistics and financial services.

They can also use one of the 220 e-commerce companies at the park. These online outlets tend to place produce on popular live internet and TV shows in which a host will show viewers where it was planted or processed.

"In this way, consumers will be more interested and will not worry about food safety," said Xin Yibin, deputy manager of Hetao E-commerce Park.

Wuyuan is a large agricultural county that grows sunflowers, wheat, corn and tomatoes.

Apart from the industrial park, 110 e-commerce service stations in nine county towns have been established to help provide information and guidance to farmers, and villagers. Last year, at least 30 households sold 12,000 boxes of muskmelons on the internet. During the same period, more than 100 farmers sold 5,000 chicks online and 766,500 eggs.

Figures showed that average incomes increased by 2,500 yuan annually by selling agricultural goods online, although detailed financial information was not available.

Zhang Guangming, the county's magistrate, confirmed that corn ears, or the head of the plant, sold for 7.8 yuan each online, about 10 times higher than local prices.

Last year, sales revenue at Hetao E-commerce Park topped 130 million yuan.

"This year it is expected to reach 500 million yuan," Deputy Manager Xin said.

Wuyuan has become one of the country's pilot regions for rural economy e-commerce.

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