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Firm offers Mekong farmers prime shares

Update: October, 30/2013 - 08:45
The An Giang Plant Protection Joint Stock Company (AGPPS) has launched a programme to sell 2.48 million preferential shares to more than 6,000 farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.— Photo daidoanket

HCM CITY (VNS)— The An Giang Plant Protection Joint Stock Company (AGPPS) has launched a programme to sell 2.48 million preferential shares to more than 6,000 farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.

The shares account for 5 per cent of the company's charter capital.

This is the first time Vietnamese farmers have an opportunity to become shareholders of the country's leading agriculture company.

Under the programme, which will last until the end of this year, each farmer who have cooperated with the company in the past years will be sold 300, 400 or 500 shares.

The shares will be sold at VND30,000 per share, half the company's current trading price in the market.

The shareholders are expected to enjoy an annual dividend of 30 per cent.

The company has also initiated policies supporting farmers to buy the shares, including helping them access soft loans from banks and other credit institutions. Farmers can also use paddy to buy shares if they do not have sufficient cash.

To ensure the programme benefits farmers, the latter can only sell their shares to others two to three years after their purchase.

Huynh Van Thon, the company's chairman and general director, said the programme aims to help farmers increase their income and taken ownership in the company.

"This will help farmers attach the company and their fields," he said.

When farmers are the company's shareholders, they will enjoy more benefits from products and services offered by the company, including seeds, insecticides, fertilisers and agriculture extension services.

Farmers will be more responsible in producing high quality products to meet the market demand, helping increase the value of rice grown in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, Thon said.

At a press conference held in An Giang Province last Friday to launch the programme, many farmers said they will buy more shares if the company allows.

Nguyen Minh Nhi, former chairman of the An Giang Province People's Committee, told the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the programme sets the base for long-term cooperation between the company and farmers.

This is a step for farmers to increase their role in the company's affairs as it plans to sell shares to more farmers in the next one to two years, he said.

For several years now, AGPPS has provided technical support and input materials for farmers while guaranteeing an outlet for their produce. — VNS

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