Beijing peach farmers take advantage of new technology, online shopping channels to promote sales

(People's Daily Online) 15:26, October 09, 2021

Zhou Zhan (L) and Bai Jie (C), college students from China Agricultural University, check the growth of peach in the Future Orchard in Xiying village of Yukou township in Pinggu district of Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 14, 2021. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)

Pinggu district in northeastern Beijing has turned to new agricultural methods and online promotion to help farmers advance their fruit production and expand sales.

At a peach orchard, also known as the Future Orchard located in Yukou town, the whole process for cultivation, including weeding, spraying agricultural chemicals and harvesting, is mechanized, which can save more than 50 percent of labor costs compared with that of traditional orchards.

Shi Licheng, head of the Pinggu district development and reform commission, said that this kind of orchard will pilot many new technologies and equipment, such as fruit-picking robots. Furthermore, information management will also be implemented in such orchards, which will also help to vigorously innovate new agricultural methods.

Zhang Baozhi is one of the area's leading farmers. After applying to the Pinggu district fruit office to learn the latest scientific planting techniques, he introduced about 40 new peach varieties into his 30-mu (2 hectares) peach orchard within a few years and has since become known as the "king of peaches".

"In Pinggu, we have implemented dozens of policies and introduced nearly 100 technologies to better promote the growth of peaches," said an official from Pinggu district. From shaping and pruning to soil fertilizer and water management, in addition to pest prevention and control, targeted technical measures have been taken at every step along the way to ensure the quality of cultivated peaches.

With the boom in online shopping and livestream e-commerce promotions, people are increasingly making purchases with their mobile phones using different apps. Pinggu has embraced this trend and has created related opportunities for farmers. For instance, the local government has continuously expanded online shopping channels for peaches.

Since 2017, a new impetus has been injected into the development of the peach industry through the adoption of measures such as intensifying training on the fundamentals of e-commerce and interfacing with e-commerce platforms.

In a bid to do more to pass on hands-on experience and knowledge to peach farmers, Pinggu district set up a local group of dedicated experts, which has also been responsible for offering online training courses. To date, a total of more than 40,000 online and offline training sessions have been held in the district.

In 2020, sales of Pinggu peaches on e-commerce channels reached 21.25 million kg, increasing farmers' income by 150 million yuan ($23.26 million). "Obviously, selling peaches via online platforms is the right choice for farmers," said Wang Dan, head of the expert group. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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