Since Pinduoduo began training would-be entrepreneurs in how to start and operate their own e-commerce businesses, farmers have been a special focus.
As of the end of October 2021, more than 126,000 “New Farmers” born after 1995 have set up online stores on Pinduoduo, up from 85,700 in 2020 and 29,700 in 2019.
Unlike older farmers, many of these younger “New Farmers” have tertiary education. One in three of them is female.
Their entry into agriculture is injecting new vigor and vitality into the sector.
As digital natives, these “New Farmers” are more open to new technology and innovations. They are also more mindful of the need for more sustainable development in agriculture.
Each young “New Farmer” is estimated to inspire another five to 10 youths to go into e-commerce. On average, each young "New Farmer" creates 50 local jobs directly and indirectly by boosting demand for ancillary services from logistics to packaging. This helps to grow both upstream and downstream industries and bolsters the agricultural ecosystem.
Take Li Sixuan (above), 25, a native of Liuhulan Town in Shanxi province, for instance.
Since undergoing Pinduoduo’s “New Farmer” training, the budding entrepreneur has sold more than 230 million yuan ($36 million) worth of beef, pears, and other local agricultural specialties in the past two years. In the process, he has helped several cattle farms, abattoirs and food processing businesses, while roping more than 100 youths into e-commerce.
These young “New Farmers” are also helping to raise the value-add of agricultural products through branding.
From Huili pomegranates and Pinghe pomelos to Luochuan apples and Pujiang kiwi fruit, many of these local agricultural specialties are reaching more consumers through e-commerce and burnishing their reputation for quality.