(director of the Municipal Agriculture BureauShao Xuemin)
The positive development is thanks to the Municipal Agriculture Bureau, which has launched agricultural information superhighway since 1999.
A farmer facing agricultural difficulties can call a hotline, where help is at hand
The director of the bureau Shao Xuemin said this was the first such phone service in China. Farmers from the whole county can access it. There is an automated phone system that will provide planting information or the farmer can chose to talk to experts on duty 16 hours each day.
In addition, many counties in Samenxiao have set up aservice centres, where agriculture experts pass on the know-how for better planting and farmers can get a face-to-face consultation.
Also, the forward-looking farmers in Sanmenxia have started to promote their products on the Internet. So far, there are so far 176 agriculture websites in Sanmanxiao and 106 households have created their own websites. And personal computers have reached more villages with 17, 300 farmers often going online.
Over the last five years, 620 million kilogram of agricultural products have been sold by the Internet and earned 450 million yuan or about 52 million US dollars.
Last year, they launched an activity to distribute 10 thousand mobiles phones to farmers, who paid only 500 yuan, including some service fees. They will be able to keep up with changes in the market by receiving text messages
The director also the showed us the studios where they produce agriculture TV programmes to spread technical knowledge.