Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Agricultural cooperatives applying Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) in Sóc Trăng Province are offering sustainable incomes for member farmers.
The “new-style” agricultural cooperatives include Phước An Agricultural Co-operative in Châu Thành District, Đại Đoàn Kết Fruit Co-operative in Kế Sách District, Kế Thành Năm Roi Grapefruit and Green-Peel and Pink Flesh Grapefruit Co-operative in Kế Sách District, Toàn Thắng Fishery Co-operative in Vĩnh Châu Town.
Đặng Văn Nám, director of the Kế Thành Năm Roi Grapefruit and Green-Peel and Pink Flesh Grapefruit Co-operative, said the co-operative has 15 members that plant a total of 25ha of grapefruit.
Of the figure, 12 ha of green-peel and pink flesh grapefruit have borne fruit, while the remaining areas of Năm Roi, as well as green-peel and pink flesh grapefruit, have not yet produced fruit.
Each hectare of green-peel and pink flesh grapefruit has an annual yield of 45 tonnes and offers a profit of VNĐ1billion (US$44,000), Nám said.
Established in 2015, the co-operative’s green-peel and pink flesh grapefruit have received certification for VietGAP standards.
The Toàn Thắng Fishery Co-operative, which was established last May, has more than 30 members who breed 40ha of shrimp under VietGAP and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards.
Mai Văn Đấu, director of the Toàn Thắng Fishery Co-operative, said: “The co-operative is determined to produce clean products to meet market demand.”
A company guarantees to buy the co-operative’s products at a price 5-10 per cent higher than the market price.
The co-operative harvests about 150 tonnes of shrimp a year and earns a profit of VNĐ250 million ($11,000) per ha.
"The application of VietGAP standards has reduced production costs, increased profits and produced clean shrimp," Đấu said.
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province has 137 agricultural co-operatives, an increase of 26 co-operatives against the same period last year.
Most agricultural co-operatives are small but with the support of local authorities, have provided support for their members, including large-scale fields for production to reduce production costs.
They have also helped members find outlets for their products.
The Đại Đoàn Kết Fruit Co-operative, for instance, buys oranges from its members and transports them to the Thủ Đức Wholesale Agriculture Market in HCM City to sell.
The co-operative’s 24 members are planting 42ha of oranges, and produce about 30 tonnes of orange a month.
Huỳnh Ngọc Vân, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said co-operatives had been working effectively by supporting member farmers, helping them access new seed varieties, farming techniques, and market information and outlets.
The province will offer training for staff at co-operatives and find outlets for co-operative members, he said. — VNS