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Information highway injects vitality to rural development
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2011-06-22 13:14

By Zhuang Guangping, Zhai Qingxiao, Yang Fengming

"In the past I had to go to the market for selling what I have planted; now I only need to tap the mouse to get the price and sales information. Everyone doesn't need to worry about the sales of vegetables anymore." Vegetable growers in Daqin Village, Yuanzhuang Town, Wenshang County of Shandong Province, are talking about the benefits of rural informationization construction.


Wenshang is located in southwest of Shandong province, it is a national production base of commercial grain and premium cotton, special products like white lotus root and Luhua chicken have a high prestige in Beijing and Tianjin. In order to provide farmers with "golden keys" to increase revenue and become rich, Wenshang has taken informationization construction in rural areas as the key link of improving agricultural structure adjustment and realizing leap-forward economy development in rural areas. The county government has established a leading group to put forward the informationization construction of rural areas by increasing infrastructure construction input, improving rural information network system and cultivating rural informationization talents, and so on.

Surrounding the construction of distance education networks for rural party cadres, Wenshang has earmarked special funds from county and township finance to build terminal receiving stations in rural areas, which include 14 town-level stations, 1 education base and 1 training base. Distance education networks for rural party cadres have covered all the rural regions of the county; villagers can obtain different kinds of agricultural scientific knowledge by tapping the mouse slightly.

Agricultural information service stations are set in 14 townships all over the county, which are equipped with computer network and agricultural informationization technicians. Every village of 493 administrative villages is assigned with an information specialist; a relatively perfect agricultural information delivery service network has been formed. Wenshang has also launched "Shandong Wenshang small and medium sized enterprises website", which is linked with the websites of 14 townships and 20 enterprises. The construction of town-level websites has brought along the construction of village-level websites, the county therefore has completed the construction of 113 township government websites and enterprises websites. At present, telephone and broad band has reached every village throughout the county, the peasant masses can access to information highway through the broad band network.

By fully utilizing such advantages of radio, TV and other media that are of quick spread and wide coverage, Wenshang has constructed over 400 kilometers road with cable poles in town and country. There are 493 administrative villages available to cable television and the number of cable users in town and country has been over 80 thousand. The policies, technologies and market information relating to agriculture, rural areas and farmers can be delivered to the peasant masses in time. At the same time, Wenshang has also input for over RMB 1 million Yuan in constructing the National Cultural Information Resources Sharing Project Wenshang Sub-Center, which has had computer room and digital library, etc. The county has also built grass-roots information stations in Kangyi and other three villages and towns as well as 10 village-level service stations, and has purchased computers, projectors, DVDs and other facilities.

Each village and town in Wenshang has four to five information staff, who can promptly provide effective agriculture relevant information to the farmers. Information collected from different channels, after being processed by the information staff, turns into teaching material that is easy to understand before being delivered to farmers. The information staff also uploads the information for farmers to the agriculture information websites, figuring out "the last kilometer" problem in information delivery.

By exerting the effects of rural informationization networks, Wenshang has realized online investment attraction, online purchase and sales by releasing the supply and demand information. Some leading enterprises and planting households have realized "online direct sales". In 2010, Wenshang town increased revenue by over RMB 40 million Yuan through processing agricultural material and agricultural products, transportation and distribution, and direct online sales of Chinese palace lamps. Poplar sapling, three-layer watermelon, and cold-proof gloves of Yinsi town have been sold outside the town by online sales. Stone material and walnuts of Baishi township have been sold directly online. Yuanzhuang town, by means of online promotion, has introduced 12 agricultural enterprises, in which 5 enterprises have invested over RMB 10 million Yuan there. Pulling by the agricultural companies, an operation mode of "base + information + company + peasant" is formed and the added value of agricultural products is improved, therefore the peasant masses could be able to enjoy the benefits brought by informationization.

Against farmers' technology bottlenecks in production process, Wenshang guides peasants to study online and deliver various kinds of new products and technologies to peasants. By integrating with the reality, the county-level and town-level service stations and various levels of distance education stations can popularize over 1000 seeding and breeding standardized technologies and give out more than 30 thousand sets of "scientific technology references" every year. For example, practical seeding and breeding technologies like burdock, short-tail sheep, and vegetable fresh keeping have been applied successfully. Yuanzhuang town has spread more than 50 kinds of new breeds through agricultural information service stations, and has successfully spread 30 breeds of red pumpkin, burdock, yam and cucumber, etc.. Moreover, the town has also popularized the use of carbon dioxide gas fertilizer machine and small-size greenhouse machinery, the town has been awarded several pollution-free agricultural products certificates by the State.

"Tapping the mouse to gain ten thousand taels of gold", this is the vivid description of the value of agricultural information. Informationization has brought a broad market to peasants of Wenshang county, Shandong province. 
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