Pinduoduo, the largest e-commerce platform for agricultural products in China, is investing in smart agriculture to raise productivity and improve the livelihoods of farmers.
As part of its push into smart agriculture, Pinduoduo is investing in precision farming, or "one-click planting," to develop standardized technology that is accessible and affordable to farmers, according to Andre Zhu, senior vice president at Pinduoduo, in an interview with CNBC. The company is also building a proprietary analytics system that can advise farmers on planting decisions, and investing in food safety and quality control systems, Zhu said.
"We are investing in agritech solutions to help raise agricultural productivity. Essentially what we're doing is giving the farmers a tech toolbox so that they can actually take the guesswork out of the planting and reap the benefits of technology," Zhu said.
The company organized a smart agriculture competition to see how artificial intelligence can be best deployed to improve traditional farming practices. It also has a tie-up with Singapore's A*Star, a research agency, to develop low-cost, portable tests for contaminants like pesticides.
Pinduoduo is also investing and working with partners to develop a new low-cost and timely logistics infrastructure to support the growing demand for online grocery shopping, one of the many changes in consumer behavior to have emerged from the pandemic, said Zhu.