|Sóc Trăng Province's OCOP products showcase at the workshop. — VNA/VNS Photo|
SÓC TRĂNG — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Sóc Trăng is working hard to boost its ‘one commune-one product’ programme by strengthening links between co-operatives to create more jobs for locals and increase incomes.
The province has around 1,336 co-operative groups and 231 co-operatives in various sectors, but mostly in agriculture, according to its Party Committee.
Huỳnh Ngọc Nhã, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the collective economy plays an important part in fostering socio-economic development, especially agriculture.
The development of co-operatives and co-operative groups has enabled an improvement in both volumes and quality serving both domestic sales and exports, he said.
Most co-operative members in the province have received training in advanced farming techniques and benefited through a reduction in costs and higher selling prices since co-operatives buy inputs in large quantities and have guaranteed outlets and prices.
OCOP products seek to honour Việt Nam’s high-quality agro-forestry-fisheries products that are well-known in both the domestic and foreign markets.
There are around 180 OCOP products in the province, including four fragrant rice varieties, ST 24, organic rice from the Bờ Đập Agriculture Farm, Tài Nguyên from Phú Khang, and Sữa from An Cư.
Sóc Trăng has created many local speciality rice varieties like ST 24 and ST 25, the former won third prize in the World’s Best Rice Contest in 2017 while the latter was top in 2019.
Its ST varieties are also grown in other provinces and are in high demand at home and abroad.
More and more farmers are cultivating fragrant and speciality varieties for export in recent years, according to the department.
In Long Phú District, for instance, speciality varieties are grown on 46.7 per cent of the total area.
Sóc Trăng is taking various measures to promote linkages between OCOP production and consumption stakeholders.
Its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has helped farmers adopt effective models such as two-stage shrimp breeding and breeding shrimp and black tilapia fish in the same pond.
It has also helped seven localities set up clean food shops to showcase OCOP products.
Farmers are encouraged to switch to high-value vegetables, aquaculture or livestock breeding on unproductive rice fields.
The province has advantages for cow breeding as it has hot and humid weather and plenty of plants year-round, and locals have had a tradition of breeding the animal for generations.
In 2020 the province had more than 10,000 dairy cows, twice the number in 2013.
It also has more than 44,000 oxen.
Cow and oxen breeding has improved the lives of people in rural areas and helped many households escape poverty, according to the province People’s Committee. — VNS