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Links between farm co-ops and enterprises on the rise

Update: August, 22/2015 - 09:05
Linkages among farm co-operatives, and between co-operatives and enterprises, are on the rise in the domestic agriculture sector as it adapts to international integration, explained a recent Oxfam report. — Illustrative VNA/VNS photo
HA NOI  (VNS) — Linkages among farm co-operatives, and between co-operatives and enterprises, are on the rise in the domestic agriculture sector as it adapts to international integration, explained a recent Oxfam report.

The report - a study of 360 farming households conducted by Oxfam Viet Nam and the local-based Institute of Research and Consultancy on Development – was released at a conference on Thursday.

About 85 per cent of farmers in the study said that co-operation between farmers increased cohesion, and reduced unfair competition and self-lowering their prices.

The study pointed out the new partnership trends after finding shortcomings in developing the national agriculture sector.

At the conference, Nguyen Van Thuc, one of the study's authors, said that a lack of monetary sanctions to deter reneging on contracts, however, allowed partnerships to break easily. He also said that partnerships between co-operatives and enterprises failed to adhere to government agricultural policies, causing poor farm yields and weak market sales.

The study also said that a Government decree issued in 2005 to encourage farm co-operatives did not account for the realties many farmers face, thus bringing fewer results than expected.

The study noticed that many co-operative farms operated without any form of an office or headquarters, which stunted progress. Half of the co-operatives in Dong Thap Province included in the study lacked an office.

Nguyen Le Hoa, an Oxfam Viet Nam representative, said promoting co-operation and linkages needed to stem from practical circumstances, demands, expectations, and diverse co-operation and capacities of farmers.

According to Hoa, farmers are interested in sharing benefits and risks, and actually developing tailored co-operative structures rather than using forced, fixed co-operative models.

Le Duc Thinh, deputy head of the Co-operatives and Rural Development Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the timing of the report aimed to assist policy-makers while the Government reviews its policies to promote farm co-operatives, economic co-operation and vertical integration in agricultural product chains. — VNS

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