“Internet + Farming” Brings Opportunities
In the year of 2016, JD. com launched the 1 million “running chickens” program, and this year Alibaba launched “running picks” breeding. As Internet is developing rapidly and more and more large-scale companies set foot in the farming sector, the new generation of smart farmers realize that only the combination of “Internet+farming” will help to promote green, healthy and pollution-free farmed products and boost sustainable development of the farming sector.
On June 27, the e xec ut ive meeting of the State Council stressed that information technology is to be widely applied in farming production at a quicker pace, “Internet+” farming product going outside the village projects are to be implemented and social forces are encouraged to utilize Internet to develop beneficiary new types and new modes to the farmers. This will satisfy diverse needs for the development of farming, rural areas and farmers. “
Internet + farming” development environment keeps optimizing
Recently, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and relevant divisions jointly released Three- year Action Plan for “Internet+” Modern Agriculture and 28 provinces and cities have unveiled “Internet+ action plans” to treat agriculture as a significant content.
“Internet technology is deepening application in farming production and remarkable achievements have been yielded for agricultural upgrading,” the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Qu Dongyu pointed out. Digital farming construction pilot was initiated in 2017 and the first Gaofen agricultural satellite was launched recently and modern agricultural technologies have played significant roles in terms of crop rotation and fallow, monitoring, remote treatment of animal and plant diseases and accurate operation of farming machinery.
At present, agricultural e-commerce is developing rapidly and new business types are emerging. By the end of 2017, e-commerce demo projects in the rural areas had supported 756 counties, online retail volume in the rural areas reached RMB 1.25 trillion and e-commerce of farming products is closing to RMB 300 billion with an employment population over 28 million.
“In the meantime, informationto-village projects are expanding scope and comprehensive information service capability for the rural are enhancing,” Qu revealed. At present, information communities are built to benefit farmers and pubic services, convenience services, e- commerce and training services are provided for farmers to bridge the digital gap between the urban and rural areas.
So far, benef iciary farming information communities have been built in 204,000 villages, accounting
for 1/3 among China’s administrative villages. Qu predicts that beneficiary farming information communities will be built in more than 80% of the administrative villages, which is a revolutionary project for informatization of agriculture and rural areas.
“Farmers may use cellphones to learn about the outside world, market demand and new technologies; besides, farmers may also receive online remote treatment of animal and plant diseases, which may be called as new farm tools,” said Qu Dongyu. “As Internet infrastructure construction keeps optimizing and ‘ Internet + farming’ supporting conditions are improving greatly.” By the end of 2017, 96% administrative villages across China had broadband access.
As information resource sharing keeps deepening, data value begins to emerge. Qu introduced that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs lead to build four platforms across the count r y — fa rming product quality and safety tracking, agriculture veterinary medicine basic data, key farming product market information and new-type farming operation entities’ direct information report
As we knew with the help of Chengdu Ruidun Information Technology Co., Ltd., Sichuan Xinnongren Farm Development C o. , L t d . b u i l t i n t e l l i g e nt monitoring system at the farming site to conduct live broadcast of the breeding garden 24 hours like transparent k itchen; rea l- time monitoring over every corner of the farming site helps to observe the activities, breeding and growth status of the free- range chickens. At the same time, like international f irst- tier companies, a qualit y tracking mechanism is built to keep consumers free from worrying about buying fake goods. Each chicken has its own identity certif icate, about which consumers may scan the Quick Response Code on the label at the chicken feet. Successful implementat ion of the project launched by Sichuon Xinnongren is mainly attributed to development of cloud computing and decreasing
Internet + farming” improves unmarketable problems of farming products
“Internet+” may be applied in various domains, but for agriculture and rural areas, the priority is marketing of farming products. How to help farmers sell the quality and special farming products to cities is the top priority.
“Selling farming products to cities is the focus at the executive meeting of the State Council. Selling farming products is to revitalize villages, prosper farming sector and make farmers get rich,” said Qu. Internet has provided golden opportunities and means to match marketing with production of farming products.
According to Qu, “Internet + farming” is above all digitization of agriculture. “Traditional sectors need to realize digital processing and then it may be possible to establish digital agriculture. Therefore, the entire value chain includes before, during and post production as well as digitization of environment of the production places.”
“Internet + farming” construction needs to strengthen capabilities construction. Qu explained that capabilities embrace management capability, national farming R& D and teaching, farmers’ capability to utilize informationization as well as hardware infrastructure construction related with Internet of things and informationization application.
“Internet + farming” projects have played significant role in narrowing digital gap between the urban and rural areas and in increasing farmers’ income. “Internet technologies are supposed to be deeply integrated with farming production, operation, management a nd s e r v i c e i n a b i d to d r i v e upgrading and quality improving of traditional farming. Innovative startup platforms are to be built in the rural areas to inject new vigor for development of agriculture and rural areas,” said Tang Ke, director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and Economic & Information Division.
Tang Ke pointed out that the pioneers and messengers of the beneficiary farming information communities have strong driving capabilities. Some have led the local people to get rich and live a comfortable life and some have directly organized various training, e- commerce and innovative start-ups.
Re g a rd i ng how to ut i l i z e Internet to solve the unmarketable problem of farming products, Qu said that market-based infrastructure construction shall be in the first place strengthened for the whole sale market of farming products. “Standardization and grading pre- treatment is the precondition to realize transaction,” Qu spoke frankly. At present, the Chinese wholesale market is seeing improving standardz and cold chain, pre- treatment and classif ication packaging are all in place.
Qu suggests that exhibition activities may be utilized to promote special farming products. Since the year 2001, the State Council approved to hold China International Agricultural Fair on a yearly basis. In the past 16 years, the fair was seeing an increasing scale and growing spot transaction volume, which has opened up a platform for selling farming products..
Qu p o i n t e d o u t w i t h o u t technical content, standard, innovative management or creative marketing, special farming products will lose superiority in intensified market competition. Nowadays China is the most open farming product market across the world and consumers enjoy qualit y farming products from the whole world, which also poses considerable pressure to the development of China’s special farming products. This is the inevitable challenge confronting the modern farming force including production management team and technical personnel.
“We are supposed to make full use of the opportunities brought by Internet to build connection between the new-type operation entities and small farmers with the big markets so as to market special and superior farming products, which is the most economical, convenient and effective means,” said Qu.