Farmers increase income selling apples on a train in SW China

Train 5647, running between southwest China’s Yunnan province and Guizhou province, has provided a place for farmers to sell their apples between September and December.

Farmers board train 5647 with their apples to be sold on the train at a railway station in Zhaotong, southwest China’s Yunnan province. (Photo/

Ma Yanqiong comes from Xiaolongdong village in Zhaotong, one of the main apple producing regions in China. His family grows more than 10 mu, or 0.67 hectares of apple trees.

Ma began selling apples on the train in 2014. According to him, the apples sell well at a price three times higher than in his hometown.

Travelling 407 kilometers and stopping at 26 stations, train 5647 is the only train that stops at Ma’s village, home to more than 667 hectares of apple trees.

Farmers sort apples on train 5647. (Photo/

Able to earn as much as 40,000 yuan ($6,116) through selling apples on the train, the prosperous business has also enabled Ma to support his children to go to college.

“My life changed a lot over the past six years. Before, it took me a long time to finally decide to buy daily necessities for the family. Now, I don’t have to worry about money when I buy things,” said Ma.

Zhuo Mingquan, chief conductor of the Guiyang section of train 5647, helps farmers place their apples on the train. (Photo/

Zhuo Mingquan, chief conductor of the Guiyang section of train 5647, said they’ve launched an additional baggage car to transport the apples. Zhuo said he and his colleagues will continue to serve the farmers well.

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