Vice Chairwoman of VNFU: Inviting young intellectuals to the countryside to be the Head and the Team Leader of famers’ professional branches
According to VNFU Vice Chairwoman Bui Thi Thom, the establishment of cooperatives and farmers' professional branches is one of VNFU’s priorities to promote farmers' cooperation and demand-based production. Photo by K.N
“3 in 1”, “4 in 1” in connecting farmers with cooperatives and farmers’ professional branches
Speaking at the Summary conference of 20 years of implementing the Resolution No. 13-NQ/TW and 10 years of implementing the 2021 Law on Cooperatives in the agricultural sector organized by the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on the morning of October 19th, Ms. Bui Thi Thom, VNFU Vice Chairwoman, said that in full awareness of the role and position of the collective economy in developing rural economy and new rural areas to improve farmers’ incomes and living standards, the Standing Committee of VNFU has determined that participating in the development of collective and cooperative economies is one of the key tasks of the Union and has been included in the resolution of the Farmers' Unions at all levels.
"Farmers' professional branches established by Farmers' Unions at all levels have promoted connection between farmers and farmers. Many branches and groups even coordinated with businesses and scientists in the production and consumption of agro-products under the "3 in 1" model (farmers’ professional branches - cooperatives - enterprises). Some cooperatives successfully established the Party organization under the "4 in 1" model (farmers’ professional branches - cooperatives - enterprises – Party organizations)," Ms. Thom announced.
Ms. Thom said that up to now, the whole country has had 2,101 farmers’ professional branches and 24,343 farmers’ professional groups established by Farmers' Unions at all levels with diversified production lines; farmers’ professional branches and groups which were established and put into operation have enabled close connection between members and members, members and enterprises.
"The approach of gathering farm members into farmers’ professional branches and groups is carried out under the principle of "5 self-" - voluntary, self-discipline, self-control, self-management, self-responsibility - and "5 co-" - the same production business and service lines; co-interest; co-sharing; co-responsibility; co-benefit," emphasized Ms. Thom.
Notably, VNFU Vice Chairwoman said that farmers’ professional branches and groups also receive capital support during their operation.
"In addition to the capital entrusted through Banks for Social Policies, the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and VNFU, farmers can also receive support from the Farmer Support Fund with a total capital of VND3,000 billion. The fund is used to develop cooperative groups and cooperatives, meaning that a cooperative group must be established to be allowed to use the fund," VNFU Vice Chairwoman added.
Ms. Thom stated that thanks to the support, advice and propaganda of the Farmers' Union, up to now, Farmers’ Unions nationwide at all levels have directly mobilized, advised, supported and helped members to establish nearly 4,000 agricultural cooperatives and more than 24,000 agricultural cooperative groups.
A strong need for policies to improve the "health" of cooperatives
However, Ms. Thom also pointed out that beside encouraging achievements, the implementation of establishing farmers’ professional branches and groups and participating in developing cooperative economic models and cooperatives is still facing difficulties due to the limited awareness of many members and farmers about the collective economy and new-style cooperatives, leading to the fact that they are not willing to participate.
Cooperatives are facing small scale and low sustainability. "This was clearly shown during the recent Covid-19 pandemic which has caused many cooperatives to be dissolved due to their bad ‘health’," Ms. Thom raised the issue.
Besides, many cooperatives still encounter difficulties in management staff, capital, land and infrastructure; the relationship between farmers - cooperatives - enterprises - scientists is still limited.
According to VNFU Vice Chairwoman, in order to further enhance the role of Farmers' Union in collective economy and cooperative development, in the coming time, VNFU will boost the dissemination for farmers to acknowledge that in order to develop agricultural production, they must change from agricultural production thinking to agribusiness thinking and there is no other way than connection – cooperation and production based on market demand, thereby voluntarily and actively participating in the collective economy and cooperatives.
“Especially, VNFU will focus on directing and promoting the establishment of new farmers’ professional branches and groups; guiding and supporting the establishment of cooperatives and cooperative groups on the basis of professional branches and groups; focusing on improving the quality of activities of professional branches and groups, considering good-performing farm members and qualified and reputable farm owners as the core; encouraging young intellectuals and scientists to participate in their homeland’s agricultural development and arranging them to be the head and team leader of farmers’ professional branches and groups," Ms. Thom emphasized.
VNFU Vice Chairwoman also suggested the Government direct relevant ministries and departments to coordinate with the VNFU in effectively implementing collective economy and agricultural cooperative development activities.