- Jul 28, 2020
- Business Update
JD’s Jingxi Helps Sell Honeydew Melons Nationwide
by Vivian Yang
On July 27th, JD’s social e-commerce platform Jingxi signed a cooperation agreement with the honeydew melon production zone in Minqin county, Gansu province. According to the agreement, the two sides will jointly build a melon planting demonstration base, and through direct-from-the-farm sales initiative on Jingxi’s platform, the cooperation will help local farmers and merchants to expand their marketing channels, effectively boosting local economic growth.
Minqin county is landlocked and 90.34% desert by area, located north of the city of Wuwei in the northeast of the Yellow River Western Bank Corridor. Despite its difficult environment, the dry weather and large disparity in temperature between day and night create the perfect conditions to grow high-sugar honeydew melons. In the past 50 years, growing and selling honeydew melons is a traditional source of income for the local people.
Mr. Zhang Yulin is one of the Minqin melon farmers who used to be under the national poverty line. However, in recent years his life was radically changed since he began participating in e-commerce training and selling melons on the internet. With the customer traffic and supply chain support from the e-commerce platform, only one week after the fruits are ready for the market, Zhang has sold over 5,000 kilograms of melons this year.
“It was impossible in the past. I wouldn’t have even thought about it,” Zhang said. In the past, due to the barriers of transportation and lack of sales channels, Minqin melons were sold at very low prices to middlemen who then sold them at a significant markup.
In recent years, the local government introduced e-commerce into Minqin county’s melon industry, sending melon prices soaring from RMB 0.45 per jin (USD 0.107 per kilogram) in 2017 to more than RMB 1 per jin (USD 0.238 per kilogram) in 2019. Thanks to the online marketplace where melon prices and quantity of sales are both higher compared to offline wholesale channels, the incomes of local farmers improved significantly. By October 2018, the Minqin county was removed from the national list of poverty-stricken counties.
Under the partnership, Jingxi will offer four supportive measures for the direct-from-the-farm sales initiative including precise farmer support plans, sales underwriting, platform empowerment, and the construction of infrastructure in production zones.
On the consumer side, Jingxin recently launched a “Melon Tasting Festival”, offering more than 2,000 tons of melons to customers across the country for free. This not only gave Minqin’s honeydew melons valuable exposure, but also drove sales of all kinds of seasonal melons in 11 production zones across China.