Strategic observation

Across China: Online experts offer farmers quick fix in the field

2018-08-07 13:31:05 (Beijing Time)         English.news.cn

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NANCHANG, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Long Huahong, a Chinese cucumber grower in the Philippines, had been plagued by severe pest problems in his fields until he came across an online video about farming techniques.

The video was made by a group of agricultural experts led by 37-year-old Fu Yong. They have uploaded hundreds of instructional videos on various social media platforms since 2016.

Long immediately contacted Fu's team and sent them pictures of his infected cucumbers. Before long, Fu's team identified the pest problem and instructed him to use specific pesticides.

"I no longer feel helpless. With Fu's help, I had a good harvest last year," said Long, who now plans to expand production and grow mangoes.

For farmers like Long, Fu and his team are both Internet celebrities and problem-solvers. They have more than 1.5 million followers on social media and their most popular video has received over 3.8 million views.

Besides posting videos, the team also answers all kinds of questions on farming, offering farmers a quick fix to pressing problems as well as technical guidance to increase production in the long run.

"The techniques they teach are simple and practical," said Li Dongfa, a farmer in east China's Jiangxi Province, who watches Fu's videos daily.

"Social media has changed the way farming expertise is passed from experts to farmers. They are an effective tool in solving agricultural production problems," said Yin Xiaojian, an economist with Jiangxi Academy of Social Sciences.

"Our office is often stuffed with mangoes, bananas, and cucumbers sent by farmers as a token of gratitude," Fu said. "We are proud that our agricultural techniques can help Chinese farmers at home and abroad."