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New co-op model may profit farmers

Update: August, 01/2012 - 10:13

HCM CITY — New large-scale rice cooperatives are expected to reduce farmers' production costs and cut out several middleman traders, according to Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong.

Under the cooperative model, the paddy fields would belong to participating farmers, Dong said.

The ministry's proposal, which is expected to be approved by the Government, would begin with a pilot project in one or two provinces in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.

When farmers join the co-operative, they will be given reasonably priced materials of good quality.

Dong said that farmers would have a voice in buying materials and selling their products.

Under the co-operative model, product quality and origin would be ensured and products could be sold at better prices because many middlemen traders would be cut out.

In addition, farmers would have the same benefits and receive Government support, including loans and instructions in farming techniques.

The country's distribution network, including in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, still has too many middlemen. Because of this, costs from farmers to the end-users have risen.

If approved, the ministry would begin the project immediately without waiting for the new Law on Co-operatives.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), in co-operation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, would set up the model in one commune and if farmers liked it, it would be expanded.

MPI has also proposed to build a seafood centre and then a rice centre.

Dong said the centre would help reduce costs for trade promotion as traders would go there to buy products.

The centre would be a stable outlet for high quality products, he said. — VNS

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