China’s logistics network expands markets for agricultural products

Farmers pick peaches in Gexianshan Township, Pengzhou, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, July 8, 2021. (Photo by Zhang Hong/People’s Daily Online)

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By Li Xinping, Wang Yongzhan

The hottest days of summer mark a time when peaches ripen and come to market.
At 9:30 a.m., a can of peaches was sent to a Beijing consumer after a long plane trip. The delivery only took less than 16 hours from a village in southwest China to the northern capital.

It is hard to imagine that at 5 p.m. the day before, these peaches were still hanging from the trees in an orchard in Baoshi Village, Longquanyi District, Chengdu, Sichuan Province (southwest China).

Longquanyi district is a major peach producer in China. It has fertile purple soil rich in nutrients good for growing peaches, such as phosphorus and potassium.

In 2016, a cooperative was established by 51 farmers in the district with support from the local agriculture and rural affairs office. They brought their land capital, started large-scale planting, and established unified production, operation and sales. Today, the cooperative has 147 farmers and an orchard of more than 1,400 mu (93.3 hectares), of which 400 mu have already produced fruit.

Varieties and management of peaches are important. Xiao Jiajie, a 47-year-old agricultural technician from the cooperative, told People’s Daily that the cooperative has planted many varieties selected by experts from the Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, who often visit orchards to guide farmers. in scientific planting techniques.
Thanks to the new facilities, techniques and varieties brought in by the experts, the peaches produced in the village of Baoshi are improving in quality and quantity. “We can produce more than 1,000 kg per mu,” Xiao said while picking a peach, “This variety tastes more crunchy and sweet.”

At 5:45 p.m., Xiao arrived at a parcel collection center in the village with the peaches she had just picked from the trees. Covered in shockproof, breathable packaging, the peaches were loaded onto a truck for shipment.
Chen Qingfeng, a supervisor of the cooperative, said the cooperative enjoys discounts on shipping costs through agreements signed with express delivery companies. At least four trucks were going to the village to pick up the peaches.

The cooperative is expected to register a sales volume of 2 million yuan ($292,817) this year, half of which will be achieved through e-commerce, Chen said.

About an hour later, Xiao’s peaches arrived at a transfer station of Chinese logistics giant SF Express at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, where they were disinfected and sorted into a special fast lane. A cargo plane was already waiting for him on a runway.

Since this year, SF Express has designated nearly 1,000 vehicles and five aircraft for the Longquanyi Fisheries Expedition. As of August 9, the company had transported over 1,000 tonnes of peaches from the district.

The “express peaches” are distributed in all major Chinese production areas. The company also deployed 400 flights, each with a capacity of more than 10,000 tons, as well as nine high-speed freight trains to expand the market for peaches produced in Yangshan, east China’s Jiangsu Province. . Between June 1 and August 8, SF Express shipped more than 4 million packages containing Yangshan peaches, up about 30% year-on-year.

The next day at 1:20 a.m., Xiao’s peaches took off with the plane, and they were quickly sorted and delivered to the buyer in Beijing. The seasonal fruits, still fresh and juicy, have completed their 16-hour journey.
The trip reflected the efforts of Chinese express delivery companies to increase infrastructure investment and expand shipping capacity by air, high-speed rail and road. This indicated a huge improvement in China’s shipping capability.

In the first half of this year, 21.9 billion packages were collected and delivered in rural China, facilitating 290 billion yuan in online retail sales, up 12.4 percent from the same period last year.
More agricultural products are offered to a wider market through an ever-improving logistics network, increasing farmers’ incomes and surprising consumers.

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Amalia H. Mercado