According an online report, a forum on the "Farmer-Supermarket Linkage" program was held in Beijing on October 29, where the Ministries of Commerce and Agriculture signed memoranda of cooperation with Wal-Mart. This project promotes direct purchases of produce by supermarket chains from farmers (actually cooperatives or distribution centers run by farmers). Wal-Mart announced that it plans to involve 1 million Chinese farmers in its “farmer-supermarket linkage” project by the end of 2011.
Since 2007, Wal-Mart has established 11 direct purchasing bases in 7 provinces. The bases cover an area of 150,000 mu [10,000 hectares] and 200,000 farmers directly benefit [10 farmers per hectare!]
Wal-Mart’s International Business chief told a reporter, “The farmer-supermarket linkage program is representative of Wal-Mart’s development strategy in China. We want to bring our world-wide experience in farm product operations into China’s supply chain, spread scientific crop-production, environmental protection, strengthen food safety monitoring, to give customers in China quality products at a low price.”