Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development (DCRD) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and non-government organisation Good Neighbors International (GNI) signed a cooperation agreement yesterday, hoping to introduce new farming methods and the agricultural products value chain to remote areas.
A development assistance programme is underway to support the establishment, organisation and operation of new agricultural cooperatives and agro-food value chains in areas supported by the GNI.
Key beneficiaries include poor people in mountainous and ethnic minority areas.
The assistance programme’s first phase during the 2018-2020 period includes jointly developed new cooperatives, aiming at efficient production and income generation.
The ultimate goal is forming an appropriate link between agricultural production, distribution and marketing towards sustainable agri-food chains.
An Yong Sic, Chief Representative of GNI in Việt Nam, said that within their supporting programme, GNI has cooperated with over 1,000 farmers in three provinces of Thanh Hóa, Hòa Bình and Tuyên Quang.
GNI cooperates with a number of supermarkets and convenience stores in Hà Nội to assist these farmers in finding a distributor. So far, a number of their products have been sold at Kmart, Lotte Mart and Vinmart.
GNI and the DCRD will conduct surveys and research on current agricultural products consumption demand, so they can interpret suitable market linkages between new cooperative groups and implement communication activities to support product sustainability.
Ma Quang Trung, DCRD’s Director General, said at the signing that though Việt Nam had about 12,000 cooperatives as of 2017, only about 38 per cent of them have reported any positive result.
Generally, cooperative members’ income is still low, since they are mostly small and very small groups struggling to get their products to the market.
In the coming years, GNI will continue their support programmes and connect farmers with agricultural products distributors, as well as maintain up to 12 existing revolving funds for cooperatives, worth VNĐ12.4 billion (US$550,000) in total. — VNS