Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan: Farmers are the least benefited, poorest and least cared for
On the afternoon of October 28th, VNFU coordinated with the Central Theoretical Council to organize a scientific seminar on the implementation of the Resolution of the 7th Conference of the 10th Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and of the Resolution of the 5th Conference of the 9th CPV Central Committee.
Mr. Luong Quoc Doan, Member of the Party Central Committee, Chairman of VNFU Central Committee, and Prof.Dr. Nguyen Quang Thuan, Vice Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council, chaired the seminar.
Assessing the development of agriculture, farmers, rural areas and the collective economy, Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan shared that what needs to be solved now is the fact that the farmers are still adopting small-scale and fragmented production despite a large consumption market.
Industrialization and modernization of agriculture and rural areas are frequently mentioned but in fact, it is very difficult to answer the questions ‘to what extent’, ‘what it actually is’, ‘where it is now’ and ‘what we need’, said Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan.
“Industrialization and modernization of agriculture and rural areas have been widely discussed for over 20 years, but it is, in fact, very difficult to assess how it is, what we need, what we lack and its limitations”, wondered Mr. Doan.
Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan stated that the farmers contribute and sacrifice the most but are the least benefited, poorest and least cared for. Photo by Minh Tuan
According to Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan, only when the farmers have adequate capacities, skills and qualifications in all aspects (knowledge about science, society and production, etc.) will they play the central role. To make this happen, it is necessary to affirm the role of VNFU to exert influence.
Currently, it is a reality that in rural areas exist unresolved psychological issues relating to old-style cooperatives and new-style ones for farmers. "Southwest areas are in need of cooperatives but the farmers are afraid to join them."
Mr. Doan pointed out that in the new rural development movement, the criteria for building cooperative groups and cooperatives are not based on the demand of the farmers. The management capacity of the cooperatives’ chairmen and directors is just part of the reasons. The root cause of the problem lies in the farmers themselves who have not acknowledged their need for cooperatives, which means that household economy still exists.
"When we make the farmers understand, they will gradually give up small-scale, fragmented and snatching production. Especially, in agriculture, if raw material areas are not developed, cooperatives cannot survive," Mr. Doan analyzed.
According to Mr. Doan, only if a locality can build a large raw material area will cooperatives there develop. Cooperatives should have a close connection with raw material areas to be able to survive; otherwise, cooperatives and their members can only benefit very little.
Currently, in the Northern provinces, some effectively-operating cooperatives are somewhat "disguised" because their directors and chairmen have highly stable output and all of their members benefit nothing from the cooperatives.
Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan supposed that we formed cooperatives but failed to prepare for the management and administration team. In fact, 70-80% of cooperative directors do not know how to make production plans, leading to conflicts between cooperatives and banks.
"A cooperative must have a reasonable production and business plan to receive lending from a bank. Otherwise, the bank will reject, leading to conflicts between the bank and the cooperative," Mr. Doan raised the issue.
Another inadequacy mentioned by Chairman Luong Quoc Doan at the seminar was that "we are destroying ourselves in agriculture". Mr. Doan gave an example - regarding citrus plants, whenever a province succeeded, many other provinces would follow the path and develop it rampantly.
"Dong Thap and An Giang show enormous potential to grow VietGAP mango but it is difficult for planning because other localities also grow it. Another example is dragon fruit of Binh Thuan and Long An which is also grown in almost all northern provinces. It makes the product lose its advantage right in the home market," said Mr. Doan.
Regarding the farmers’ benefits, Mr. Doan shared that “The farmers contribute and sacrifice the most but are the least benefited, poorest and least cared for”.
According to statistics of the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), farmers' income from agriculture only reached 22%, which proved the farmers' high risks in agricultural production.
"The farmers should have enjoyed the benefits but in fact they have to contribute the most including electricity, roads, schools and stations, etc."
Mr. Doan addressed that low intellectual level of the farmers has affected their rights, ownership and benefits. One thing VNFU deeply cares about is to push the farmers to change.
"The farmers keep waiting for the support from the policies while they have not changed their thinking and the cultivation area is shrinking. Currently, some of our policies are still doing and especially thinking on behalf of the farmers", Mr. Doan shared.
Regarding the land issue, according to Chairman Luong Quoc Doan, the income gap from land rent still remains too large. The farmers are suffering great disadvantages regarding this issue.
The farmers lose their land if the government turns it into an industrial zone. They give ‘no care’ to the farmers after finishing the compensation, if any. "The farmers need a large sum of money and the money dissipates very quickly, while we should have guided them on how to use that money to earn a livelihood."
Another remaining problem is that when building industrial parks, farmers’ children are not allowed to work in industrial zones.
"While all big businesses and tycoons thrive thanks to land, the farmers still suffer from disadvantages and losses, even lose their land," shared Mr. Luong Quoc Doan.