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Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar

Update: April, 09/2018 - 09:00
A dragon fruit farm in Tiền Giang Province. More and more farmers are seeing the benefit of working with co-operatives and clean farming. – VNA/VNS Photo Việt Dũng.
Viet Nam News

TIỀN GIANG – More and more farmers in Việt Nam are discovering the benefits of working with co-operatives and export companies and using clean farming methods to ensure high-quality produce.

In places like Tiền Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces there are many agricultural co-operatives that comply with VietGap standards and sell their produce to exporters like Vina T&T.

For example, all 28 large dragon fruit farmers in Tiền Giang are members of co-operatives on whose instructions they use clean farming methods and avoid certain chemicals.

They sell their entire output to export companies and not to traders. They thus have a reliable buyer whereas selling to traders often leaves them at their mercy.

The co-operatives schedule the cultivation and harvest of its members to ensure the harvest is spread throughout the year to ensure supply and thus prices do not fluctuate.

Huỳnh Văn Quyền, a dragon fruit farmer said: “I have been working with the local co-operative and Vina T&T for around five years. I have been learning a lot from other farmers and the co-operative staff, who are very helpful and clear in their instructions. My fruit output, quality and income also saw great improvements.”

Vina T&T and the co-operatives it works with assign area codes for each farmer as required by the US when it imports fruits.  

The dragon fruits are also exported to markets like Germany, and since they meet international quality standards, are very well received there.

Since the co-operatives work closely with their farmers, the product quality is consistent throughout the entire province, making it easier to export.

Longan farmers in Đồng Tháp are also instructed by their co-operative and Vina T&T not to use chemicals to match international standards, which greatly boosts the quality of their fruit.

Lê Thành Lộc, a longan farmer in Đồng Tháp’s Châu Thành District, said: “Earlier Châu Thành farmers would use their own individual methods without caring much for clean farming, so our output was not that high and some were even affected by plant diseases. After working with a farming expert, Dr Nguyễn Đăng Nghĩa, locals have realised the importance of clean farming and changed their ways.” 

Overall, farmers improve quality and output when they join co-operatives and adopt clean farming practices, according to insiders.

In the past they would follow their instincts or simply copy from others, some switching between crops regularly depending on what is popular at the time.

Now more and more farmers around the country have greater awareness and are seeing the big picture, realising the benefits of organised work, clean farming and export. – VNS

 

 

 

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