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Internet Plus Agriculture urged for farmers

Updated: Jun 30,2018 8:38 AM

Premier Li Keqiang stressed promoting practices of Internet Plus Agriculture for hundreds of millions of farmers to better adapt to the ever-changing market.

Premier Li made the remarks at the State Council executive meeting on June 27 in Beijing.

At the meeting, the Premier heard a report on the integrated development of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries in rural areas under the Internet Plus Agriculture strategy.

He called for efforts to implement Internet Plus strategy, develop various specific services, promote efficient agro-production management, and enable farmers to accommodate the ever-changing market.

Statistics show that the online retail sales in rural areas reached 1.25 trillion yuan ($189.5 billion) in 2017, which helped more than 28 million people get employed.

Internet Plus Agriculture can not only promote the integrated development of industries, but also help increase incomes for rural residents, the Premier said.

When inspecting a navel orange base in Ruijin, Jiangxi province, in August 2016, Premier Li learned that through the Internet Plus strategy, a product safety traceability system was established and online sales significantly increased farmers’ incomes.

Internet Plus has not only improved the quality of naval oranges, but also boosted the development of the whole industry, the Premier said.

In the 2018 Government Work Report, Premier Li urged efforts to develop the Internet Plus Agriculture model, use multiple channels to increase rural incomes, and encourage the integrated development of primary, secondary and tertiary industries in rural areas.

Government departments should intensify infrastructure building and market supervision in promoting Internet Plus Agriculture, the Premier said at the executive meeting.

He also called for governments to provide special support for the construction of broadband internet, logistics networks and frozen food warehousing to sharpen the competitiveness of the emerging industry.

The meeting also decided to widely use the Internet Plus model in the distribution of agro-products; smooth production and sales between e-commerce businesses and small household farmers, family farms and farm cooperatives; and strengthen supporting facilities, such as broadband networks in rural areas and cold chain logistics.

At e-commerce platforms, consumers can leave reviews about products and sellers, which represent people voting with their feet as well as a regulatory power generated by the market, said the Premier. However, no matter online or offline, food safety problems are possible. Efforts should be made to strengthen and innovate market supervision, he added.

The government should bear the responsibility to protect food safety and consumers’ rights in both traditional industries and emerging businesses, said the Premier.