Orange farmer finds new market online

CHONGQING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) — Though a newcomer to livestreaming, 67-year-old orange farmer Yu Duxiang from southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality has already felt the magic of the booming industry.

When he started promoting his navel oranges by livestreaming in 2019, he found that he could sell his entire yield in a short time. “I have more than 300 orange trees and the output has reached 15,000 kg each year, but that can’t meet the demand of customers from across the country at all,” he said.

This was beyond his imagination decades ago.

Fengjie County in Chongqing, where Yu’s village of Santuo is located, is known for high-quality navel orange thanks to its unique ecological advantages and climate. Yu is also an experienced fruit farmer who has been growing oranges for over 50 years. Yet his oranges did not sell well due to lacking promotion channels.

In the 1990s, Yu rented four trucks and purchased tonnes of navel oranges from Santuo before transporting them to sell in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. “I thought the high-quality oranges could be sold at a good price there,” he said.

But the exhausting six-day trip was a disaster, and he lost almost all of his money. “My oranges hardly sold there, and my child was waiting for money to pay for school at the time. I cried many times in Chengdu,” he recalled.

Over the next few years, the stubborn farmer refused to give up. He borrowed money and traveled farther to other cities including Beijing and Shanghai to sell his oranges, carrying his ID card to prove his produce was from Fengjie, the county famous for its oranges.

Today, Yu does not need to travel and toil to sell his produce. He enjoys livestreaming to his customers from his orchard, proud to show them the oranges he has nurtured all his life. Thanks to the huge attention brought by livestreaming platforms, orders from across the country have surpassed his output.

In recent years, Fengjie County has taken a slew of actions, such as offering training to help fruit farmers sell navel oranges through e-commerce. In 2019, more than 330,000 tonnes of navel oranges were sold from the county, with an output value of 3.23 billion yuan (about 493.5 million U.S. dollars). The total income of about 300,000 orange farmers in the county exceeded 1.83 billion yuan.

“Where there are oranges trees, there is hope,” Yu said.

E-commerce livestreaming became the country’s fastest-growing internet application in the first half of 2020, according to a report released by the China Internet Network Information Center.

With over 400,000 livestreamers active in the industry, China witnessed more than 10 million livestreaming marketing activities in the first half of this year, attracting over 50 billion views, read the report.

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