Insufficient technology is another key factor hampering the development of new agricultural businesses. The survey results show that the proportion of smallholder and large-scale farmers lacking technology is 55% and 49%, respectively.
To help more farmers seize new agribusiness opportunities, China should improve financial services and increase training for new technologies for farmers, the report suggested. It should also provide more support and guidance to smallholder farmers to help them become models for new agribusiness so that more “new farmers” with knowledge, technology, and management skills would return to their hometowns to join them.
Pinduoduo, the biggest agricultural e-commerce platform in China, is one of the companies helping attract young talent back to rural areas. The company, which has connected more than 12 million farmers directly to its pool of buyers, has pledged to train another 100,000 e-commerce merchants to boost sales of farm produce through online channels.
The company is also helping to standardize the production and quality of agricultural products, building modern cold-chain logistic networks for fresh produce, and establishing branding strategies for farmers who sell on the platform. It organizes an annual Smart Agriculture Competition to promote the development of economically viable technologies suited to China’s farming industry.
“In the future, through promoting and optimizing agricultural e-commerce, nurturing new farmers who know both e-commerce and agricultural products, and building supporting logistics systems to realize the ‘digital transformation of agriculture, smallholder farmers will be better connected to the big market,” said Huo Xuexi, professor of Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, at the event.
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