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Co-operatives are useful yet limited

Update: November, 02/2013 - 10:25
A farming household at Nga Ba Giong co-operative in Xuan Gioi Thuong Commune in HCM City's Hoc Mon District harvested colocynths. Co-operatives were good partners for businesses, supplying them with agricultural raw materials and rice for export, the HCM City Union of Co-operatives Chairman Nguyen Duy Hieu said. — VNA/VNS Photo Manh Linh

HA NOI  (VNS) — Agricultural co-operatives play a key role in farm produce processing and sale, reducing product cost and ensuring quality, Phan Xuan Thang from the Institute of Co-operative Economic Development told participants at a recent workshop.

There are more than 10,000 agricultural co-operatives nationwide with over 7 million members. By providing services such as irrigation and product consumption, co-operatives help their members speed up the sale of more than 57 per cent of farm produce, Thang said.

Many co-operatives also serve to link the State, scientists, farmers and businesses. Co-operatives in the Mekong Delta's An Giang Province, for example, signed contracts with businesses both inside and outside the province to help their members sell thousands of tonnes of food and crops.

Chairman of the HCM City Union of Co-operatives Nguyen Duy Hieu said co-operatives were good partners for businesses, supplying them with agricultural raw materials and rice for export.

Many rice exporters co-operated with co-operatives to purchase thousands of tonnes from farmers and help them build stable material areas.

However, a representative from the Union of Co-operatives in northern Hai Duong Province said there were many systemic shortcomings.

Many co-operatives only provided services for certain kinds of farm produce and at certain periods of the year, creating an unstable consumption market for farmers.

Thang from the Institute of Economic Co-operation Development explained that many co-operatives lacked capital, which consequently limited their ability to provide services.

Moreover, management staff rarely put forward effective business plans or sought out markets.

Workshop participants agreed that in order to improve the efficiency of co-operatives' services, it was essential to provide more training for members, mobilise different sources of capital to increase business co-operation and create a stable chain of farm produce consumption. — VNS


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