Chinese farmers prosper using internetBy IANS
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
BEIJING - Farmers in China’s remote villages are prospering with trading agricultural products through the world wide web using internet connectivity provided at various information centres in rural parts of the country.
Information centres with internet have been set up in 2,362 villages in the autonomous region of Ningxia as part of a national one to improve access to the internet in rural areas.
Statistics from the First Informatization and Modern Agriculture Exposition, co-sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), showed that 99 percent of towns in China are connected to the internet, Xinhua news agency reported.
Farmers are able to sell their products directly to the market and add to their income up to six times.
For example, dried licorice root, used in Chinese traditional medicine, is sold online across the country from a remote village in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
Feng Zixue, a farmer-turned-entrepreneur of Honghai village in Ningxia, who sells 600 tonnes of licorice annually, said his profit last year exceeded one million yuan ($149,254).
After Feng’s village was connected to the internet, he marketed his products on “alibaba.com” at the beginning of 2008, and then found his first online business partner — a traditional Chinese medicine company in south China’s Guangdong Province.
Feng has now set up his own shop and his licorice is sold as far away as Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Another farmer, Tian Yanping of Longquan village, has also made a small fortune from selling goods over the internet.
Tian, a 41-year-old farmer, organised others in his village to work as a group and sell their vegetables and fruit online. Tian then split the profits among them.
Tian also asked his group to plant vegetables and fruit according to online market demand.
Tian’s annual income now is about 50,000 yuan. Tian’s fellow villager Feng Zhongfu’s annual net income has increased to over 60,000 yuan due to the online business, six times that of his income before the group started selling over the internet.