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Hunan model of e-commerce poverty alleviation,November 22, 2017 Adjust font size:

Since e-commerce was adopted for targeted poverty alleviation, 7 poverty-stricken counties in Hunan have been listed as national-level role models for rural e-commerce, and 14 counties have been listed as role models at provincial level. Altogether 51 counties have issued licenses for 202 e-commerce enterprises, and the top three domestic e-commerce platforms have opened 20 county-level characteristic halls and another threes at prefecture level (Xiangxi, Huaihua and Yongzhou). The value of the agricultural products involved in this campaign has now surpassed 1.3 billion yuan (U.S. $189 million). The total value of rural e-commerce transactions in Hunan reached 120 billion yuan (about U.S. $ 17 billion) in 2016, and 51 impoverished counties accounted for more than 40% of this total.

As the campaign continues to make good progress, more and more premium agricultural products are becoming known to and popular with city-dwellers. Products like “black-bone chicken” and waxberry from Chengbu, snow pear from Jianghua, rice from Xinhua and local specialties from Zhijiang and Yuanling County have all become well-known brands. In November 2016, Hunan used its e-commerce platform to promote the “Hunan Sweet Orange” as an iconic brand, which helped drive the per kilo price from 1.6 yuan (U.S. $0.26) in 2015 to 3.6 yuan (U.S. $0.52).

Setting up special zones for marketing specialty products through e-commerce has been of great benefit to produce from poverty-stricken areas in Hunan. We have helped 51 poverty-stricken counties to sell their products in large chain supermarkets. At the same time we have set up special online zones on the Hunan e-commerce public service platform to promote these products both online and offline. 

Hunan province has worked hard to establish this service platform. On the one hand, it has strengthened cooperation with established domestic e-commerce platforms and set up county-level service centers and village-level service stations; on the other hand, it encourages local e-commerce platforms to work with traditional trading enterprises to build a two-way channel for industrial products to access rural markets and for rural products to access urban markets. To date, the local platform has established 37 county-level branches and more than 700 village-level service stations in 14 cities and prefectures.

Efforts have been made to further improve the coordination mechanism. E-commerce poverty alleviation is a systematic project that requires strong leadership and a well-established coordination mechanism to integrate all the resources involved in poverty alleviation. The Provincial Department of Commerce and the Provincial Poverty Alleviation and Development Office have drafted detailed regulations for performance evaluation in order to clarify responsibilities and ensure implementation. 

Meanwhile, the e-commerce poverty alleviation plans have been carried out. Poverty-stricken counties have further clarified their general goals, specific tasks and measures for e-commerce poverty alleviation, so that all targets are achieved in every poor village. 

Work on the e-commerce service system has been properly done so as to fully integrate resources from e-commerce platforms, postal services, and supply and marketing cooperatives, extending the e-commerce service network to all levels and exploring channels for agricultural products to enter urban markets. Services from departments including public administration, agricultural technology, telecommunications, postal services, finance, and employment can all contribute to providing poor households with access to efficient and convenient services at home. 

For further development, efforts will be made to source more products for online marketing. Poverty-stricken counties need to give preferential treatment to outstanding producers of agricultural specialties and to processing enterprises, and encourage them to provide professional, high-quality products online. 

Efforts will be also made to provide agricultural specialties with better access to e-commerce platforms. Poor counties and e-commerce platforms need to enhance cooperation and concentrate their efforts on exploring more channels for rural products to enter urban markets. 

It is necessary to undertake skills training and demonstration projects. All counties involved need to further expand their pool of e-commerce talent. On the one hand, they should take measures to attract and retain e-commerce talent and allow trained professionals to play a leading role in innovation and increasing agricultural incomes; on the other hand, more training should be offered to make sure all poor villages are covered by the e-commerce network. Efforts will be made to focus on selected demonstration projects so that best practices, achievements, and experiences can be shared throughout the province and even serve as an example for the rest of the country.


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