Ninh Thuan (VNS/VNA) – Agriculture cooperatives in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan have linked up with companies to increase product value and guarantee outlets, the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has said.
Up to 24 of the province’s 63 agriculture cooperatives have linkages with companies to develop value chains for their products like rice, corn, grapes, asparagus and organic cashew nuts.
The 24 cooperatives produce agricultural products on large-scale fields that use advanced farming techniques.
Many products of the cooperatives have been granted international standard certificates from the EU and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP).
The Tuan Tu General Service Cooperative in Ninh Phuoc district’s An Hai commune grows asparagus on a large-scale field to VietGAP standards and has a farm contract with Tien Tien Organic Agriculture Farm to guarantee outlets for its members.
Hung Ky, director of the Tuan Tu General Service Cooperative, said: “The cooperative supplies loans and fertilisers to its members to grow asparagus and teaches them techniques to produce safe, quality products.”
The agriculture cooperatives ‘ products have been included in the country’s “one commune – one product” (OCOP) programme in the province.
OCOP products are commercial products and services such as food and beverages, handicrafts and rural tourism services. They are classified at five levels, with a five – star being the highest level.
Dang Kim Cuong, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and deputy chairman of the appraisal board for the province’s OCOP programme, said that seven cooperatives participated in the province’s OCOP programme last year.
The cooperative’s products like red onion, fresh jujube, dried jujube and asparagus are rated three or four-star OCOP products.
The province is promoting OCOP products in combination with tourism services via cooperatives, companies and households.
The Thai An General Agriculture Service Cooperative in Ninh Hai district’s Vinh Hai commune had its NH01 – 152 grape recognised as a four-star OCOP product last year, and its NH01 – 152 grape growing area has become a tourism destination.
Nguyen Khac Phong, director of Thai An, said the province had assigned the co-operative to expand the cultivation of its NH01 – 152 grape to serve tourism services.
Besides its NH01 – 152 grape, Thai An has other seven products, including dried jujube, dried grape, and fresh red grape and grape wine, granted as three-star OCOP products.
“The co-operative’s OCOP products have created motivation for the co-operative to promote production and expand its market,” he said.
With their effective operation, the provinces’ agriculture cooperatives had an average revenue of 2.1 billion VND (90,000 USD) and average profit of 250 million VND (10,800 USD) last year, up 9.4 percent and 13.6 percent, respectively, against 2019, according to the province’s Co-operative Alliance.
Ninh Thuan targets that its collective economy will contribute 8.8 – 9 percent of its gross regional domestic product (GRDP) this year, according to the provincial People’s Committee.
The province aims to establish 10 – 12 new cooperatives and 10 – 15 new co-operative groups, with a total of 200 – 300 members, this year.
Its goal is to have average revenue of 2.2 – 2.25 billion VND (95,000 – 97,200 USD) this year for cooperatives and an average revenue of 260 – 270 million VND for cooperative groups.
It also plans to have 50 – 60 percent of cooperatives operating effectively by 2025, and for the collective economy to contribute 10 – 11 percent of its gross regional domestic product (GRDP) in 2025.
The province will encourage the development of cooperatives in agriculture, small industry, commerce and services, and promote effective new-style cooperatives, and cooperatives that link up with companies to produce agricultural products on large-scale fields with value chains.
Tran Quoc Nam, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said: “The province will help cooperatives to access the central and local governments’ preferential policies on land, loans, infrastructure, human resource training, and advanced techniques for production.”
It will also arrange trade promotions at home and abroad to expand markets for products of cooperatives.
Ninh Thuan, which has the least rainfall in the country, has developed 12 specifically identified products, including grape, jujube, asparagus, sheep, goat, Ca Na fish sauce, My Nghiep brocade products and Bau Truc pottery products./.