The Alibaba Group has ramped up efforts to help farmers reach consumers online and recoup losses after a difficult year, as China’s harvest season is getting started.
Last week, the company wrapped up its biggest-yet Harvest Festival – an online sales campaign dedicated to agricultural produce. During the festival, Alibaba’s platforms broadcast more than a million agriculture-related livestreams over what was nearly a monthlong period and helped close to 300,000 farmers and merchants sell over 2.25 million tons of agricultural produce to consumers – from Shaanxi kiwis and Fujian pomelos to pu’er tea from Yunnan Province.
Zhu Xi, head of rural livestreaming at Taobao Live said that more than 100,000 rural livestreamers have registered on Alibaba’s livestreaming channel. This group, which includes farmer-turned-livestreamers and agriculture-focused influencers, has grown significantly in the past few years as Taobao Live kicked off initiatives to explore livestreaming’s potential to drive increased business for farmers in rural China.
The platform has since launched training programs and competitions to cultivate new presenters, particularly in poverty-stricken areas. Its rural livestreamer incubation base in Zhejiang Province’s Quzhou city, for example, has helped train more than 1,000 new presenters since the facility launched in April.