“In­ter­net + Farm­ing” Brings Op­por­tu­ni­ties

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Industrial Watch - By Nikki Liu

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.

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