Ping An: Intelligent Agriculture Boosts Rural Industries
The digitization of the Nujiang Lisu Boutique Coffee Farm is one of Ping An’s ongoing efforts in intelligent agriculture. In recent years, Ping An has used its integrated finance and technology resources for the digital transformation of agriculture to increase the income of rural residents and drive high-quality rural revitalization.
Empowerment Through Digitization: Improving Agriculture
"I used to have endless tasks, especially with watering and fertilizing. I was busy all day and didn't even know what I had accomplished. Now, thanks to Ping An Bank's IoT (Internet of Things) devices installed in the coffee farm, I can control all these tasks through my mobile phone," Mi Xinghua told a reporter recently. He comes from a household out of poverty in Laimao Village, Liuku Town, Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, in Yunnan Province.
Mi Xinghua was one of the earliest employees of Nujiang Lisu Boutique Coffee Co., Ltd. (Lisu Coffee Company). Despite having no prior knowledge about the coffee industry, he is now a professional coffee farm manager, familiar with coffee planting, processing, and quality control. He is happy with this monthly fixed salary of RMB3,700 and performance-based pay.
In November 2022, Ping An Bank provided four intelligent agricultural testing devices to Lisu Coffee Company. The devices are connected to Ping An's satellites through ground IoT sensors to transmit real-time data. After analysis, coffee farm administrators get a clear understanding of air temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, rainfall, soil moisture and nutrient content. This enables them to provide timely guidance to the planting staff for better agricultural management.
In addition to installing satellite monitoring equipment for the coffee farm, Ping An Bank also established a traceability platform to record real IoT monitoring and production process data. This enables the traceability of information of small-batch, premium coffee – including planting, processing and circulation – driving improvements in production management efficiency. The platform will help to promote the development of Nujiang's premium coffee industry.
The intelligent coffee farm in Nujiang is just one example of how Ping An Bank is supporting rural revitalization through intelligent agriculture. In other places, Ping An Bank has used its satellite and advanced IoT technology to solve problems such as limited signal coverage in mountainous areas, such as the “Three-village Project” Zijinchan Tea Industry Integration Demonstration Base in Zijin County, Heyuan City, Guangdong Province, the Yuhao Intelligent Tea Farm in Henghe Tujia Township, Wanzhou District, Chongqing, the Xibei Olive Planting Professional Cooperative in Xibei Township, Xichang City, Sichuan Province, and the Jiameiyuan Planting Farmers' Professional Cooperative in Lintao County, Shaanxi Province. These technology enhancements help to extend and expand the agricultural industry chain, cultivate and develop new rural industries and business models, and develop channels for farmers to increase their income.
Increasing Farmers' Income to Alleviate Poverty and Promote Rural Revitalization
"Our coffee is grown entirely according to organic standards, without chemical fertilizers or herbicides. We rely on manual labor for weed control, so labor costs are high. Last year, we employed 120,000 workers and spent more than RMB18 million on labor costs. With more than 3,000 mu (about 495 acres) of coffee plants bearing fruit, we expect to employ more than 200,000 workers for labor services this year," said Yu Zhonghua, Vice President of Lisu Coffee Company.
In April, while weeding in the coffee farm, Mi Wenhua told a reporter, “Two years ago, I worked in Guangzhou, but it was unstable. I returned to my hometown in March last year and started working on the coffee farm in May. I am responsible for field management and earn RMB150 per day. I now have an income of more than RMB3,000 per month, and I don't need to work out of my hometown anymore.”
“Thanks to the support of Ping An Bank, we are now more confident in developing the coffee industry. The amount of work involved in watering and fertilizing 4,400 mu (about 725 acres) of coffee farms is huge. With the integration of water and fertilizer equipment using digital technology, efficiency has been greatly improved, which helps to reduce costs and increase efficiency. More importantly, it enables more precise implementation of field management, saves a lot of unnecessary inputs, reduces labor costs, and enables our company to invest more precisely in supporting the development of the entire industry chain," said Yu Zhonghua.
Lisu Coffee Company was established in 2018. Its Lushui City Boutique Coffee Industry Complex is a key project at the autonomous prefecture and city levels. The plans include the planting of 30,000 mu (about 4,942 acres) of standardized premium coffee on both sides of the Lushui City economic belt, forming the Nujiang Gaoligong Mountain economic industry belt. It would create China's top premium coffee producing area, which will contribute to rural revitalization in Nujiang.
Cultivating Talent is Crucial for Promoting High-quality Development and Prosperity of the Industry
“Coffee planting is a promising industry that has received significant government support in the last two years. Last year's coffee training program expanded my knowledge and bolstered my confidence and determination to develop the coffee industry. Now, I can earn a living without leaving my doorstep, which was unimaginable before," said Zhong Shengcai, a villager from Laimao Village.
In June 2022, Zhong Shengcai participated in the coffee industry leader training program organized by Ping An Bank and Huadian Yunnan Power Generation Corporation Limited (Huadian Yunnan), aimed at promoting rural revitalization in Nujiang Prefecture. Through the training, he went from having no knowledge in the coffee industry and the participating companies, to actively investing in and developing the coffee industry. He has planted coffee on his three mu (about 0.49 acres) of land and has also mobilized 52 households in his village to develop the coffee industry, providing them with free technical guidance.
Xu Gang, the General Manager of the Rural Revitalization Financial Office at Ping An Bank, explained that since 2018, Ping An Bank has trained over 80,000 poverty alleviation leaders through online and offline training. The bank set up training courses according to industry projects to comprehensively enhance villagers' abilities to use technology for poverty alleviation and wealth creation. Over the past four years, Ping An Bank has supported enterprises such as Huadian Yunnan, Beidahuang Group, and CGN Cangnan Nuclear Co., Ltd. in rural revitalization fund investment. As of the end of 2022, Ping An Bank has invested RMB33.078 billion in rural revitalization support funds, with a cumulative investment of RMB69.254 billion. Ping An Bank also issued 90,439 rural revitalization debit cards, with a cumulative issuance of 113,930, benefiting 80,000 households, a total of 1.03 million people.