E-commerce boosts rural development – Xinhua English.news.cn

JIN DING/CHINA DAILY

China has attached great importance to the digital economy in rural development in recent years, issuing a series of policies to support the development of the digital economy in rural areas.

The penetration of digital technology in agriculture and its use to boost rural development, accelerating the integration of online and offline and iterative innovations, as well as new formats and models such as live e-commerce , influencer marketing, community group buying, and livestreaming of agricultural tourism have led to a boom in rural China.

Mobile phones have become “new agricultural tools” and data “new agricultural materials”, and live broadcasting has become “new agricultural work”.

In fact, rural e-commerce has become an important channel for activating urban and rural markets. Rural e-commerce has greatly improved the stability of agricultural commodity supply chains and promoted the rapid growth of farmers’ incomes, playing a unique role in winning the battle against poverty and ensuring production and supply stability. in agricultural products even in the event of a strict pandemic. – prevention and control measures were in place.

In 2021, online retail sales of agricultural products in China reached 422.1 billion yuan ($60.3 billion), a year-on-year increase of 2.8%.

In 2020, Pinduoduo launched a special zone “Fight Pandemic, Love and Help Farmers”, covering nearly 400 agricultural production areas and more than 230 state-level poor counties across the country, helping areas poor and some important agricultural production areas to sell agricultural products that were previously difficult to market.

Nowadays, rural residents pay more attention to personalized, branded and diversified consumption experience through e-commerce, and the consumption potential of rural residents is released, while urban residents choose high-quality agricultural products. quality with special features from across the country through e-commerce. trade and get faster and more convenient delivery.

Rural e-commerce has promoted the upward movement of agricultural products to urban areas and industrial products to the countryside, opening an important, convenient and fast channel, which in turn has promoted the “two-way flow” of urban products and rural. . Indeed, rural e-commerce has promoted the quality development of agriculture.

E-commerce starts from the end of the broadcast; extends upstream on the agro-industrial sectors; penetrates agricultural production, processing, circulation and other linkages; promotes the “internalization” of agricultural products in production, organization, management, processing, circulation, storage and transport, sale, marketing, branding, services and other links; improves total factor productivity; reduces costs and increases efficiency; optimizes resource allocation; and facilitates the digital transformation of the entire network of agricultural sectors.

As for rural e-commerce, it has encouraged farmers to return to their hometowns to find employment and entrepreneurship. In 2021, the number of different types of entrepreneurs and innovators returning to their hometowns was 11.2 million, about 1.1 million more than in 2020. This was the largest growth and the fastest in recent times, comprising four groups of entrepreneurs: migrant workers, university graduates, retired soldiers and women. This trend has also helped boost local employment.

Official data shows that 55% of projects transferred by their entrepreneurs to their hometown use information technology to open online stores, conduct live direct sales and contactless distribution, among other high-tech means, to create “Internet-connected products”. More than 85 percent are characterized by the integration of one, two or three industries, covering a wide range of production and marketing services, and agriculture, cultural tourism, education and other fields.

Yet, much more needs to be done to increase the use of rural e-commerce for agricultural and rural development. Although rural e-commerce has grown at a relatively good pace, it faces new challenges such as insufficient policy coordination, uneven quality of e-commerce products, weak e-commerce infrastructure and shortage of agricultural e-commerce professionals.

To further promote rural e-commerce, therefore, the following measures should be taken.

First, the government should establish a coordinated mechanism at the level of ministries and commissions to promote the development of e-commerce, strengthen high-level design and overall planning, take existing engineering projects as a starting point to develop industries and promote the integration of rural e-commerce infrastructure and public service resources.

The government should also take full advantage of the synergistic and complementary effect with market inputs, establishing and improving a longer-term mechanism for linking interests between government and enterprises, working together to strengthen support and guaranteeing rural e-commerce public services and helping to standardize rural e-commerce and foster its healthy and quality development.

Second, the government should take measures to improve rural e-commerce infrastructure, further integrate agricultural Internet Plus products into the city project and e-commerce into the rural comprehensive demonstration project, thereby promoting the construction of a cold chain for storing and preserving agricultural products. logistics facilities project, transforming and modernizing rural delivery logistics infrastructure, and opening up the agricultural products sector by moving it from the “village to town” canal.

And thirdly, the authorities should increase the scope and scale of personnel training, organize more special e-commerce training programs for rural leaders of practical talents, and promote the anchoring of resources, large-scale development scale and collaborative progress.

Fan Shenggen is a full professor at the Academy of Global Food Economics and Policy, China Agricultural University; and Guo Hongdong is a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Rural Development, Zhejiang University.

Opinions do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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