Surge of government cash allows aquaculture to upskill, market online in China
Online sales of seafood continue to soar in China, according to a government release of online sales data.
Overall food sales were up 46 percent since 2015, to a value of CNY 220 billion (USD 31.9 billion, EUR 30.1 billion), according to the Chinese Agricultural Ministry, which didn’t provide a breakdown by species.
The growth trend looks set to continue as the ministry is pushing hard to get the country’s seafood producers online. A government scheme covering 26 provinces is providing funds for online sales training for producers of crustaceans and other species. Villages and townships as well as cooperatives are being encouraged to apply for training and funds in marketing and packaging.
The key government aim behind the scheme is to reduce rural poverty. It wants to lift 10 million people out of poverty this year and urbanize rural dwellers.
Aquaculture is also seen by the government as a means to lift its population out of poverty. An agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural Development Bank in September 2016 pledged to lend no less than CNY 3 trillion (USD 435 billion, EUR 410 billion) to support agricultural modernization by 2020. Cash is available for modernization of aquaculture ponds and small fishing ports, as well as roads linking rural areas to urban markets. Most of the loans are being made to so-called “dragon head” or regional champion enterprises.