On May 5, 2022, workers were carefully processing dried fruits such as raisins, wolfberries, walnuts and jujubes at the production and processing workshop of the Guhairyuan Dried Fruits Cooperative in Wuqia County in Kuqa City, Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang. They removed stones, sorted, packaged and sealed dried fruits, presenting a busy scene.
Photo taken on May 5, 2022 shows workers are rushing to fill the order of jujubes filled with walnut kernels at the production and processing workshop of the Guhairyuan Dried Fruits Cooperative in Wuqia County in Kuqa City, Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang. (Photo by Niyaz Rehman)
“We’re rushing to fill the orders from our Douyin (TikTok Chinese version) live room. Our series products of jujubes filled with walnut kernels are selling quite well during the Labor’s Day holiday.” said Ablat Turdi, head of the Guhairyuan Dried Fruits Cooperative in Wuqia County in Kuqa City, Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang.
Forty-two-year-old Ablat has been engaged in the dried fruits business for more than 20 years. When he started the business at first, he transported dried apricots and walnuts to other places such as Zhejiang Province and Shandong Province from his hometown. Later, he started selling dried fruits in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province. “The agricultural products from my hometown are very popular, and I want more agricultural characteristic products with high qualities to be delivered to places across China and the world.” said Ablat.
Photo shows Ablat Turdi at the sales store of the Guhairyuan Dried Fruits Cooperative. (Photo offered by himself)
In 2007, Ablat went back to his hometown Kuqa City and opened a dried fruit store and he never stopped thinking about how to improve the popularity of Xinjiang’s agricultural characteristic products.
In 2017, he established the cooperative with local villagers and started doing deep processing business of Xinjiang dried fruits. “Agricultural products should enhance the added value and emphasize differentiation, so as to develop a broader market.” said Ablat.
In 2020, the offline stores of the cooperative were impacted a lot during the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic. Ablat was at a loss about how to destock and increase sales. By chance, he attended an e-commerce training class held by the local e-commerce service center. It opened his mind and made him interested in e-commerce. He applied to be the head of the e-commerce service station in Wuqia Town and began to learn live commerce. He opened an account for Douyin and Taobao live room and tried to sell agricultural products from his hometown.
Photo taken on May 5, 2022 shows live streamers sell Xinjiang specialties at the Guhairyuan Dried Fruits Cooperative. (Photo by Niyaz Rehman)
The workers of the cooperative are engaged in live commerce, becoming hosts to introduce the local products to netizens all over the country through the lens of cellphones.
“I do live-streaming two hours a day, and the highest sales reached more than 100 orders a day. Now I am learning more live-streaming techniques, so that I can sell more products.” said Dilinur Amar, a live commerce hostess.
As the sales increased, the income of the cooperative has also increased year by year. Now the annual income has reached 2.3 million yuan, which not only helps local villagers sell agricultural products, but also offers employment for 35 villagers nearby.
“I’ve been working in the cooperative for three years, and I can balance the work and family. I used to be a house wife without steady work, but after I came here, I get 3,000 yuan a month, which makes my life better and better.” said Mirewangul Rehman, a worker of the the Guhairyuan Dried Fruits Cooperative.
When it comes to the future, Abulat exudes confidence. He said, “I want to expand the business scale and increase the training for e-commerce personnel, so as to do the best I can to sell more agricultural products for my hometown.”