|Growing clean rice in Cà Mau Province’s Thới Bình District. Many co-operatives in Cà Mau use advanced techniques to grow rice and breed shrimp. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh
CÀ MAU — The Cà Mau Province People’s Committee has earmarked VNĐ4 billion (US$172,320) worth of subsidies for seven new-style agricultural co-operatives this year.
The money will be used to develop infrastructure and build warehouses and plants to process the province’s key agricultural products.
Nguyễn Tiến Hải, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, has instructed the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to inform the co-operatives that they need to complete all required procedures to receive the subsidies.
The southern-most province has more than 200 co-operatives, including 135 in agriculture, according to its Co-operatives Alliance.
Đỗ Văn Sơ, chairman of the alliance, said many grow clean rice and breed shrimp to Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards and adopt advanced technologies, including biofloc technology to manage water quality for intensive shrimp farming.
The Kinh Dớn Agricultural Service Co-operative in Trần Văn Thời District’s Khánh Bình Tây Bắc Commune, for instance, grows clean rice that is exported to the EU, South Korea and the Philippines.
Nguyễn Trường Đời, its director, said the rice grown by his co-operative members has purchase deals with companies who pay VNĐ200 a kilogramme higher than the market price.
Its membership has grown from 27 when it was established nearly five years ago to 65 members now, and more farmers are applying, he said.
Members of the Cái Bát Aquaculture Co-operative in Cái Nước District’s Hòa Mỹ Commune breed shrimp on 30ha to ASC standards and 348ha to Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards.
The entire output is sold under agreements with companies.
Nguyễn Hoàng Ân, its director said, the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development acts as a bridge with input supplying companies, helping the co-operative develop sustainably.
The co-operative has also set up women’s groups to make products from its shrimp such as dried shrimp, salted shredded shrimp, shrimp paste, and shrimp crackers.
It has achieved the targets set by the co-operative management board, and this has been due to several factors, including the support provided by local authorities by transferring advanced farming techniques, he said.
Nevertheless, the province has many co-operatives that have difficulty mobilising resources, limited management capacity and lack knowledge of advanced techniques.
The People’s Committee has instructed all authorities to tighten oversight to improve the operations of co-operatives.
The province has so far provided financial support to 15 new-style co-operatives to develop their infrastructure under the Government’s Decision 445 issued in 2016. —VNS