Chinese social commerce platform Pinduoduo (PDD) has trained farmers in poverty-stricken counties to start e-commerce businesses in its online marketplace as an effort to alleviate poverty. PDD organized a three-hour online training session on July 5 for farmers in the Daliang Mountains which borders Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, instructing them on how to start and manage an e-commerce business.
Farmers in one of the most impoverished counties in the country learned that they can sell their fresh produce directly to consumers on the e-commerce platform, cutting out the middlemen. With more than 4,000 participants attending the event, the training session introduced how to set up an online store, how to run sales and marketing campaigns, and how to boost followers through live-streaming.
Poverty alleviation is one of China’s main objectives for 2020, while agriculture, rural areas, and farmers are among the country’s top targets for relief efforts. The Chinese government has introduced several policies to stimulate rural agriculture growth, including bringing e-commerce to rural areas.
By promoting “cloud agriculture,” PDD hopes to alleviate poverty by expanding the reach of agricultural products to the market. The e-commerce company will help sell agricultural products with short shelf lives and remove geographical limits for rural businesses, according to a Tsinghua University report released in June.
PDD, which has 628 million active users, saw its agricultural produce GMV reach 136.4 billion yuan ($19 billion) in 2019, a 109% increase year-on-year. The value of produce from impoverished counties sold on the platform rose 130% to 37.3 billion yuan.