A flower grower from Hengxian county in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, picks jasmine buds this month. (Photo: China Daily)
After weighing some fresh jasmine, Lei Shuiping received a message on her smartphone that payment of 195 yuan ($29) had been sent to her bank account via an online platform called Digital Jasmine.
Lei, a flower grower from Shijing village in Hengxian county in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, picked the flowers on a sunny morning earlier this month and took a 10-minute motorcycle ride to a jasmine trading market to sell them.
"Before coming to the market, I checked the price on the platform," said Lei, 47. "It is 26 yuan a kilogram, much higher than yesterday. The price changes every day, according to the weather. It's higher on sunny days and lower on rainy days."
She said jasmine buds were fuller and more fragrant on sunny days.
Over the past year, more than 3,500 metric tons of jasmine have been sold through the platform, with turnover totaling 60 million yuan.
With the cooperation of the county government and China Construction Bank, Digital Jasmine was launched in August last year. The service platform covers the whole industry chain for flower growers and jasmine tea companies in Hengxian.
Among the services it offers are product tracing, planting guides, logistics tracking and information about the latest policies and price indexes.
"We can get more valuable data about jasmine across the whole county from Digital Jasmine, such as the cultivated area, price and quality, helping the government make more favorable policies to boost the industry," said Lu Hongjian, director of the county's jasmine industry service center. "To ensure sustainable development, we need to insist on stricter quality control for jasmine flowers.
"We believe the industrial chain will continue to expand, with better development of brands, planting bases and jasmine-related tourism. The industry's output is expected to double during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period and the 15th Five-Year Plan (2026-30)."
Lu said the county's jasmine output last year was worth 12.2 billion yuan.
"It is not enough to rely only on the local government and flower farmers to strengthen the jasmine industry," said Zeng Pengxin, head of the county.
"The huge investment and advanced payment and settlement technology provided by the bank will greatly promote the industry's development and benefit more than 300,000 flower farmers in the county," he said.
Hengxian had 7,533 hectares of jasmine last year and about 330,000 growers, with output totaling 90,000 tons.
The county also boasts more than 130 jasmine tea companies, with total output of 78,000 tons.
"Last year, the government organized free training courses to show villagers how to use the platform on a smartphone," Lei said. "It is really convenient and safe for us to trade on it."