Xidian University began to provide targeted support to Pucheng County in Shaanxi Province in 2013. In recent years, the university has developed and continuously updated an agricultural service software, which initiated the “Internet plus modern agriculture” model, to boost the local melon industry in particular. The software can offer expert consultancy services to local farmers and help promote their products. To date, it has helped 1,300 poor households in the county increase their yield steadily year on year.
Designing an information platform. To discover the causes of poverty in Pucheng County, the research team headed by Professor Liu Zhijing from Xidian University went to farm fields to talk with local people.They discovered that the melon growing business offered little added value and suffered low productivity due to farmers’ lack of knowledge. To answer the farmers’ most pressing questions, namely what to grow, how to grow it and where to sell, the team developed an agricultural service platform to enable IT-driven smart agriculture.
Establishing a demonstrative base. In December 2017, Xidian University established a demonstrative base, supported by an expert station consisting of 12 professors and an annual fund of 100,000 RMB.
Extensive technical and promotion services. Building on its successful practices in Pucheng County, the university has set up 11 more production bases across the country covering agricultural products such as pears, apples, melons and vegetables. The melon planting and promotion techniques have, in particular, been applied and proved effective in 18 provinces in China, in Southeast Asian countries such as Laos and Vietnam, and in Russia. Over the past few years, the university has provided consultancy services to over 100,000 people, contributing greatly to targeted poverty alleviation, science-based farming and county-level economic growth.
Creating an e-commerce model. In addition to building information platform, the Xidian University expert team also developed an e-commerce model, thus connecting supply with demand for local industries.