BEIJING -- E-commerce has helped bump up the income of Chinese farmers, contributing to the country's efforts on rural vitalization, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said Wednesday.
In 2019, rural online retail sales neared 400 billion yuan (about 61.9 billion U.S. dollars), said ministry official Zeng Yande at a press conference.
"Quite a few farmers in China have turned to short videos or live streaming to sell their homegrown produce, and they managed to get high prices," Zeng said.
Conditions for rural e-commerce development, including communication facilities and logistics, have witnessed continued improvements in recent years, with 4G network coverage for 98 percent of villages in the country, according to the ministry.
More than 10 million people have engaged in entrepreneurship and innovation in rural areas so far, serving as an important force supporting the development of the rural e-commerce sector.
Over the past three years, China has implemented its rural vitalization strategy. Farmers have seen continuous growth in their incomes and a narrowed income gap relative to urban residents.
The country detailed plans to fully promote the strategy of rural vitalization in the Chinese leadership's proposals for formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035.
Under this development blueprint, China will push the development of industries with distinctive rural characteristics, cultivate new industries and modes of business, and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in rural areas.