- Mar 05, 2021
- Business Update
JD Survey Demonstrates Value of E-Commerce in Agricultural Products Boom
by Ella Kidron
JD.com kicked off its rural e-commerce strategy in 2015. Up to now, JD’s platform has realized RMB 580 billion in transaction volume of agricultural products. A JD survey published on Mar. 4 shows that procurement volume of agricultural product merchants has seen explosive growth with the help of e-commerce, growing 51% and 82% YOY in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Furthermore, the survey also indicates that all types of JD agricultural products’ upstream merchants have driven an RMB 47,800 yuan average increase in local farmers’ income. The role of e-commerce in promoting rural growth has become increasingly prominent, increasing local employment in addition to incomes of farmers. Another important factor is the improvement of e-commerce related logistics infrastructure, something JD began talking about as a priority investment area early in 2014 ahead of its IPO on the Nasdaq on May 23 that year.
Promoting rural revitalization (乡村振兴) is not merely about bringing e-commerce to villages and enabling farmers to buy high quality products at an affordable price. It also doesn’t stop at livestream e-commerce for local products. Rather, it is a focus on enabling agricultural industry production and improvement in way of life through digitalization and information that brings real value. In essence, moving from “living” to “making popular”. Online retailers help address the problem that people living in poor areas often cannot sell their products at a favorable price, and that people in urban areas sometimes struggle to find environmentally friendly sustainable produce.
JD CEO Richard Liu previously said of JD’s support of poor farmers: “We want to provide a sustainable way to help people in poor areas… We’d rather teach them how to fish than give them fish.” This philosophy has guided the company’s approach. One representative example of this in action is JD’s “Flying Pigeon” project. JD launched the project in Fuping county, Shaanxi province and supported the breeding, marketing and promotion, and technology-driven traceability of the bird at every step. With the help of JD, a standardized brand and method that could be replicated in other areas was born. JD’s “Flying Pigeon” has a breeding cycle of over 60 days, which far exceeds the average 20-day breeding cycle ordinary pigeons. Its fresh and tender meat has made it highly popular among consumers. “Flying Pigeon” is part of a family of such projects which also include “Running Chicken” (which was selected as a World Economic Forum Lighthouse Project in 2020), “Swimming Duck” and “Running Mountain Pig”.
As of Sept. 30, JD has supported more than three million types of products, achieving poverty alleviation-related sales of over RMB 100 billion yuan, and directly led more than one million poor households to increase their income. In the field of logistics, JD Logistics will focus on distribution from 530 production areas to create a new logistics infrastructure that links agricultural products to last mile delivery. JD Logistics has covered more than 500,000 administrative villages across the country.
In a ceremony on Feb. 25, over 100 of JD’s partners in e-commerce poverty alleviation programs were honored for their contribution to China’s national poverty alleviation efforts.