BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Sales by rural supply and marketing cooperatives rose in the first half of 2017 as China pushed reforms on these entities, allowing them to serve rural residents more efficiently, official data showed Monday.
Total sales from all cooperatives nationwide reached 2.35 trillion yuan (about 347.8 billion U.S. dollars), up 14.4 percent year on year, according to the All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives.
Notably, grassroots-level supply and marketing cooperatives saw rapid sales increase, contributing more to total sales.
China's supply and marketing cooperatives have been a key platform for the distribution of agricultural products in rural areas in the past decades.
In 2015, in an effort to make the cooperatives better serve their regions, China announced plans to expand their business scope and called for innovation in their management.
Since then, local cooperatives have been expanding to new business areas, embracing opportunities such as e-commerce.
Taking advantage of their established logistics systems, the local cooperatives have been operating as important platforms for online transactions, storage and logistics management, and product delivery.
E-commerce sales by cooperatives increased 124 percent in the first half, Monday's data showed.
In 2016, sales of China's supply and marketing cooperatives stood at 4.78 trillion yuan, up 10.9 percent year on year.