SHANGHAI, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese social e-commerce giant Pinduoduo plans to build 1,000 agricultural plantations in five years to help farmers make gains in the latest anti-poverty efforts.
The agricultural plantations will mainly be located in southwestern and northwestern China where produce from impoverished regions can be directly sold online to more than 400 million users, according to a statement from the company.
In addition, the new campaign aims to help build a sustainable platform to protect farmers' interests by offering incentives and entrepreneurship training while introducing third-party services and local government supervision.
The first agricultural plantation is piloted in Baoshan City in Yunnan Province to help upgrade the local coffee industry by planting more high-quality breeds and developing more sophisticated products. The program will be extended to other five sectors including tea and walnuts in Yunnan.
The company has become one of China's largest online retail platforms with sales of produce reaching 65.3 billion yuan (9.73 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018. Official data showed that China's online produce sales totaled about 300 billion yuan last year.
Agriculture is one major industry with huge opportunities, and Pinduoduo will continue to offer technological and capital investment to make farming an attractive profession, said Pinduoduo co-founder Da Da.
Founded in 2015, the Shanghai-based firm is known for offering group buying deals with big discounts, and enjoys a huge consumer base in rural areas and small cities. Pinduoduo's revenues totaled 13.12 billion yuan last year, surging 652 percent from the previous year.