Chinese Agriculture Platform Predicts Opportunities for ‘Gradual Change’ in Agriculture Through Mobile Internet

According to Pinduoduo, one of the largest agricultural platforms in the country, the Chinese agricultural industry is on the verge of a “radical change” in terms of productivity and efficiency with the proliferation of mobile internet and Lightning-fast 5G access.

Internet penetration in rural areas topped 50% for the first time late last year, with 99.7% of online users accessing the Internet using their cell phones, according to the reports. official data. China aims to complete construction of its 5G network by 2025, which would lay the groundwork for widespread adoption of precision agriculture.

“We see opportunities for radical change with the widespread use of mobile payments and the mobile internet. One very obvious opportunity with huge potential is in agriculture, ”said Chen Lei, Chairman and CEO of Pinduoduo. “Overall, China’s agricultural industry has benefited much less from the Internet than other industrial sectors. There is still a lot of room for development in terms of upgrading agricultural production, circulation and sales. “

Pinduoduo doubled sales of agricultural products on its platform last year to more than 270 billion yuan ($ 42 billion), directly connecting 12 million farmers to consumers. The company trains farmers to sell their products online, builds a fast and inexpensive logistics platform for agricultural products, and invests in food security, precision agriculture and food technology.

One of its newer businesses is Duo Duo Grocery, an overnight pickup service that cuts farm-to-fork delivery times from days to under 24 hours by forecasting and matching local demand. with local suppliers. By enabling large-scale local-to-local commerce, Duo Duo Grocery cuts costs by reducing transportation time and reducing food waste. Globally, the deployment of 5G could increase annual connectivity by $ 2 trillion by 2030 in the mobility, healthcare, manufacturing and retail sectors, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. In agriculture, the ultra-fast speeds and near real-time responses of 5G will enable precision agriculture by linking wireless sensors, automatic irrigation systems, agricultural drones and other smart devices used in management. agricultural.

A taste of this future can already be tasted in Hongshan Village in Chongqing. Orange trees in the area had to be in their orchards all day to water the trees, especially in August at the height of summer. Now, with 5G connectivity, farmers can perform the task remotely through a monitoring and control system linked to their smartphones. They can control the orchard sprinkler system with a single click on their smartphone.

“Compared to urban residents, Chinese farmers have not taken full advantage of the Internet dividends,” Chen said. “We have the opportunity to invest heavily in the long term to upgrade the technology that underpins the entire agricultural production and supply chain, thereby creating value for consumers and agricultural producers. . “

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