Mahmut Tursun, the vice general manager of Vizdan in Kashgar, expresses his desire to help the farmers of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region stay in their home towns and have a decent and prosperous life. Vizdan is in cooperation with two thousand farmers and has achieved considerable fame on the internet.（People's Daily/ Li Yumeng）
"Samat Awut, a farmer in Aksu, provides us with agricultural products. His ten thousand tons of chick peas were sold by us last year. Subsequently, he doubled his planting area. We even have clients in Paris and New York," Mahmut Tursun said. He is the vice general manager of Vizdan in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the president of the Vizdan farmers' specialized cooperative in Shufu County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
His parents, farmers in southern Xinjiang, raised six children by growing 14 mu of fruit trees and producing other agricultural products.
He still remembers the difficulties his family encountered in his childhood. He told People's Daily Online that his home town abounds with cotton, grain and different kinds of fruits, but his parents lost money as their quality agricultural products could not be transported promptly and sold effectively due to the remote location, a lack of access to information, and poor logistics.
In 2011, Zhang Ping, Liu Jingwen and two other young people from Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province, volunteered to support the development of Kashgar and met with Tursun as volunteers. Together they created a shared dream of selling the agricultural products of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region online.
They found that most farmers still used traditional methods to grow their agricultural products, seldom using fertilizers and pesticides, resulting in good quality. They also discovered that most specialized cooperatives in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region only engaged in product processing and sales, without any marketing. Some farmers and township companies knew little about online sales and sold their quality agricultural products without any packaging. The products had to be stored in bulk due to the lack of access to customer demand information. Some companies made use of e-commerce platforms to sell agricultural products, but most of these were dry fruits rather than the famous Turpan grape, the bergamot pear of Korla and the pomegranate of Kashgar.
Liu Jingwen and Zhang Ping helped local farmers to promote their products on the internet, and they sold more than three hundred kilograms of apricots, dates and other local products. Thus, Tursun became aware of the great impact of the internet on agricultural development in remote regions. He resigned his position at the Turgart port of Kashgar customs and opened an online store with the Uygur name Vizdan ('Conscience' in English) with the four volunteers.
Everything was hard in the beginning. One of their partners let them use his own well-known Taobao shop free of charge, and the honest Uygur farmers proposed that Vizdan should sell their walnuts first and pay them later. They also sent private messages through Sina Weibo to web celebrities. Vizdan's blog was posted in the micro blogs of celebrities such as Yao Chen, the queen of the micro blog. Wang Juntao, a forerunner in e-commerce, volunteered to serve as chief adviser to Vizdan and offer professional suggestions on business operations.