E-commerce Helps Alleviate Rural Poverty
For those stuck in the mire of poverty, the Internet can channel their agricultural produce to the huge urban market, and meanwhile, make affordable commodities and convenient services only a click away.
AS the Internet of Things, the mobile Internet and other new types of infrastructure become more widely accessible, a new method of reducing poverty through e-commerce is being applied in many areas. This method explores more channels for agricultural produce to enter urban markets, and for industrial products to sell in rural areas. The costs to farmers of purchasing industrial products are being lowered, and the efficiency of agricultural produce sales enhanced. More entrepreneurial and innovative opportunities are thus being created for rural residents.
New Tech, New Opportunities
Connecting farmers to markets has always been hard in regions with scant commercial infrastructure and information imbalances. By reducing circulation procedures and costs, e-commerce not only increases farmers’ profit margins, but also greatly decreases information asymmetry between producers and consumers. Farmers are able to keep in touch with changes in consumer demand and market fluctuations. By selling agricultural produce to the whole national market, they thus see income expansion and poverty reduction.
Caoxian in Heze City is the poorest county in Shandong Province. Many residents here engage in the sale of costumes, stage props and dancing shoes. They process these products in scattered family workshops and then carry them in bags to sell in neighboring cities and counties. Transaction volumes of this energy-consuming model are low, and sales uncertain. However, e-commerce has hugely accelerated the connectivity between sales channels and platforms, promoting the development of Caoxian.
As China’s first pilot city for poverty alleviation through e-commerce, Longnan City in Gansu Province established six systems across 450 impoverished villages, including administrative services, online retailing, online goods supply, Internet logistics, and personnel training and evaluation.
E-commerce provides more entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for rural residents. It not only improves the overall economy of rural areas, but also encourages more college graduates and migrant workers to return home and start businesses. Joining this movement
The Internet connects a remote village to huge international markets.