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City Comes Together to Buy 32 Tonnes of Potatoes in One Day to Help Farmer in Need

In what can only be described as a touching display of kindness, the residents of a neighborhood near Shenzhen, in southern China, came together to help a total stranger sell 32 tonnes of potatoes in a single day, after he was rejected by a local wholesale market.

60-year-old Ma, a potato farmer from Qinghai Province, in northwest China, had been duped by a businessman to bring all his stock to Shenzhen and sell it at a higher price. Enticed by the prospect of a earning a higher profit for a year’s work, he paid 16,000 Yuan ($2,312) in transportation fees and traveled 2500 miles across China, a journey that took four days and four nights. But upon reaching his destination, on November 5th, Ma had his hopes shattered by the wholesaler who had promised to take his entire potato harvest off his hands, after he backed off on the deal, claiming that the potatoes were too small.

Left without a buyer, Ma had no choice but unload all 32 tonnes of potatoes on the side of the road near an industrial park in Guanlan, and try to sell some of it to passers-by. Going back home with nothing to show for his trip than the expenses incurred was not an option. But his idea wasn’t working as well as he had hoped either. “Some of his friends from Qinghai helped him contact people to buy the potatoes, but it hasn’t helped much as he has so many potatoes,” the owner of a nearby grocery store told Shenzhen Daily. But just when he was ready to give up and go home, a miracle happened.

On Sunday, November 13, one of Ma’s few clients posted a photo of him and his huge pile of potato sacks on WeChat, China’s largest social network, asking people to help the poor man out. The post also mentioned how he had come all this way only to have his entire crop rejected, and people shared his story online until it went viral. The next day, employees of Shenzhen companies started coming to Guanlan to buy potatoes from Ma and relieve him of his huge burden.

One person, who bought over 5 tonnes of potatoes from the stranded farmer, told Shenzhen Daily reporters that he had been sent by his boss. “We don’t mind eating potatoes for every meal,” he said, while loading the sacks in his truck. But it wasn’t just companies that rallied to help Ma. Local residents also came out to buy a few kilograms each, and by the end of the day, the farmer managed to sell his entire stock, all 32 tonnes of it.

People kept coming to his roadside “shop” on Tuesday, but he had to turn them all away, thanking them for wanting to help out. “It is true that they were sold out thanks to the lovely Shenzhen residents,” Ma told reporters. “Words can’t express my gratitude to those who came to help me out. I felt like I was sitting on a roller coaster over the past few days in Shenzhen.”

“The journey from Qinghai to Shenzhen was the longest I have ever traveled. I was very impressed. I will go home tomorrow,” the potato farmer concluded.

via Next Shark

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