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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Crops in cyberspace

By Du Juan (China Daily)

10:46, February 20, 2012

A newly built road in the mountainous Yunyang county, Chongqing municipality. The poor condition of local roads used to prevent farmers in inland areas from selling their produce, but now some have blazed a trail by adopting more innovative techniques, such as selling online.(Photo/China Daily)

The Internet has changed the way small communities can profit from sales of agricultural produce

XINGTAI, Hebei - Looking at the newly built road lined on both sides with walnut trees, Li Hejun felt satisfied: He'd eventually found a way to sell agricultural produce online, even though that success has given him many sleepless nights.

Li, 33, a resident of Nanjiushui village in Xingtai county of Hebei province, about 500 kilometers from Beijing, has described his relationship with Liu Shuwei, an economics professor and researcher at the Central University of Finance and Economics, as being like that between a mother and son.

That's because Liu taught him to use the Internet and employ modern marketing methods to sell the agricultural produce of his village. Liu's intervention has helped Li to lead a life far removed from that of many other young farmers.

In May, Liu placed a post on her micro blog on t.163, a major Chinese micro-blogging website, saying that she wanted to help the people of Nanjiushui sell their produce and raise funds to build a road that would connect walnut groves in a mountainous area with the village center.

She soon received orders from across the country, with the exceptions of Qinghai, Tibet, Xinjiang and Ningxia, where online shopping isn't as popular as in other areas.

Meanwhile, she helped Li to open Nanjiushui's official micro blog and started posting photos of the walnuts trees and the road, which was then under construction, to share with other bloggers and customers.

Liu bought a computer and a camera for Li, enabling him to take photos and to go online. Their combined efforts attracted hundreds of orders for the walnuts.

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