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Shoppers come to aid of farmer who travelled length of China by truck to sell potatoes … only to be turned away at market

People in a city in southern China have rallied round to help a farmer who travelled across the country to sell 32 tonnes of potatoes, but was barred from selling them at a market because his stock failed to meet its quality standards, a newspaper reported.

Customers flocked to buy his vegetables at the side of the road after his plight was highlighted on social media.

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The 60-year-old farmer travelled for four days by truck from Qinghai province in northwest China to Shenzhen in the south to sell his vegetables, hoping to get a higher price, the Southern Metropolis News reported.

He had been introduced to a “business partner” in Shenzhen through his son-in-law to help him sell the potatoes.

He then spent more than 18,000 yuan (HK$20,000) hiring a truck to transport the vegetables for the trip.

But after making the long journey he was told by his business partner that the potatoes did not reach the standards required to be sold at the market.

The farmer, whose full name was not given, had no other option but to unload his stock on the side of a road at an industrial park and sell to passers-by, the report said.

His story was posted on social media on Monday and soon drew wide attention. Many people decided to help out and buy potatoes from him and his stock was nearly sold out by Tuesday morning.

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“My boss passed by here in the morning and after he found out what had happened he decided to help this old man,” one employee was quoted as saying. “So he asked us to come here to buy some potatoes for the company.”

Another person living in the area said: “We want to help buy some so the old man can go home sooner.”