National political advisor suggests enhancing scientific, technological support for rural vitalization

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By Qian Yibin, People’s Daily

Li Xuelin, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s top political advisory body,submitted a proposal suggesting that relevant authorities speed up efforts to support the development of cold chain logistics for agricultural produce to the just-concluded annual session of the CPPCC National Committee.

Relevant authorities should intensify efforts to support major agricultural provinces in addressing weak links ininfrastructure that hinder the production, marketing, and transport of agricultural products, pay attention to the construction of facilities for the storage and preservation of produce, encourage business entities to build specialized storage and preservation systems in places of production, and boost the online circulation of agricultural products by facilitating the construction of storehouses for agricultural products in production areas, Li suggested.

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In addition, efforts should be made to further enhance the image of signature farm products as products with high quality and reasonable prices, so as to promote the efficiency of the agricultural sector and increase the income of farmers, noted Li, who is also the head of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences in southwest China’s Yunnan province.

These suggestions are based on a lot of research carried out by Li in Yunnan last year. In an effort to fully understand the current situation of agricultural development of Yunnan province and find effective approaches to rural industry development, Li visited more than 60 counties in 16 cities and prefectures of the province last year to have close exchanges with farmers.

“During my field trips, I felt deeply that agricultural technologies are crucial for rural industry development,”Li said. He provided targeted technical guidance for farmers in his field research based on local needs for developing characteristic agricultural industries, and mobilized an expert team of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences in compiling a series of popular science books on rural industry development for ethnic groups with relatively small populations.

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Yunnan is an important producing area of fresh agricultural products such as fresh cut flowers, vegetables, fruits, and wild edible mushrooms.During his field trips to various places of the province, Li noticed that although these products have enjoyed rapid increase in sales to areas outside the province, the sluggish growth of local cold chain logistics industry has become a short slab hampering greater success of Yunnan’s agricultural sector.

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Most of the fresh agricultural products of Yunnan province are transported by road, Li said, adding that 95 percent of these goods are preserved in transit by regular ice bottles and ice bags, while only 5 percent of the fresh farm produce are transported via cold chain.

It’s estimated that the whole province is faced with a theoreticalshortage of 3,000 refrigerated vehicles, according to Li.

In order to gain detailed information about the requirements for cold chain transportation of different agricultural products, Li led a team to several cities of Yunnan province, including Kunming, last August.

They conducted investigations in logistics companies, fruit wholesale markets, and leading vegetable planting and marketing enterprises, and visited ports in Yunnan province to learn about the cold chain transportation of agricultural products imported from neighboring countries.

Based on their investigations, Li and his team members compiled a report on the construction of cold chain logistics facilities for agricultural products in Yunnan province for reference of relevant authorities.

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