Promoting multifunctional agricultural cooperatives with Japan

by VTV413 October 2015 Last updated at 07:58 AM

(Photo credit)
(Photo credit)

VTV.vn - Over the past years, thousands of cooperatives have been established across the country; however, quite a few cooperatives still face difficulties in producing and distributing products.

This is partly due to the fact that their focus remains on agricultural production. With support from the Japanese government, some localities have successfully developed multifunctional cooperative models, where cooperatives play an active role in both production and business operation.

Binh Dinh cooperative in Kien Xuong district, Thai Binh province is one of the pilot cooperatives in the project themed “Strengthening the functions of cooperatives in Vietnam”, carried out by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Applying the experience of the Japanese cooperative model, Binh Dinh cooperative plays an active role in several aspects, from supporting production to business operation.

"We created a link with Thai Binh Seed Joint Stock Corporation. This distribution channel has helped us sell 2,100 tonnes of seeds last year. In addition, we have implemented the strategy of internal credit business, in which we gather unused funds from members to serve operation expanding purposes", Tran Thanh Son, Head of Binh Dinh Cooperative, Kien Xuong District, Thai Binh Province, said.

With the scale of the whole commune, Binh Dinh cooperative has successfully created connections between service providers, farmers, and enterprises, generating a profit of about 165 mil USD in 2014. Since participating in the cooperative, Lam is no longer worried about the price and quality of seeds and fertilizers that he has to purchase for his farm.

Besides providing input materials, the cooperative also established several professional groups, which meet the specific demand of each household for production purposes. Cooperative officers also built specific plans, directing farmers in the most effective way to conduct the production process.

The Project for Enhancing the Functions of Agricultural Cooperatives in Vietnam by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was implemented in two phases during the 2006 - 2015 period. The project provided training courses on mid-term planning, joint marketing and joint purchasing, and internal credit business in five target provinces, including Thai Binh, Hoa Binh, Hai Duong, Binh Dinh, and An Giang.

"We share our experience of developing multifunctional cooperatives, where the cooperative is built based on the specific demand of each household. However, in order to successfully apply the model, farmers and cooperative officers need to be active in renovating technologies and production methods, and strengthening links between each other and enterprises", Sato Chikara, General Consultant of JICA, said.

The multifunctional agricultural cooperative model is expected to be disseminated throughout the country as a model for farmers’ organisations that will help improve the livelihoods of their members.

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