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Reporter's log: Livestreaming, e-commerce play crucial role in Gansu's poverty alleviation drive by Matthew Robert Bossons,November 16, 2020 Adjust font size:

Zhang Jiacheng holds up one of his apples as he livestreams, with his wife by his side. [Photo provided to]

Zhang Jiacheng has lived his entire life in Longhuai village, a small settlement comprised of earthen and aged red-brick homes in Li county, in southern Gansu province's Longnan city. An orchardist, Zhang spends his days tending to his 0.67-hectare apple orchard.

Like most agricultural jobs, his work is highly physical, involving planting and pruning trees and picking and packaging fruit come harvest time. One aspect of his career, though, is somewhat untraditional for a farmer: Livestreaming.

When I visit Zhang's orchard in mid-September, the 58-year-old farmer is preparing to harvest his terraced fields. The branches of his apple trees are weighed down by American red delicious and hua niu apples, the latter known among locals as a favorite of China's founding father, Mao Zedong.

It took Zhang and his wife 10 years to plant his terraced orchard, one year for each 0.06 hectare of land. The property now produces 30,000 kilograms of apples each year, according to Zhang.

While only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Longnan's administrative seat in Wudu district, Longhuai village is an entirely different world, lacking comparable public facilities, housing infrastructure and job opportunities.

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