Vietnam Farmers’ Union- Cuban Small Farmers Association: Sharing experiences in sustainable agricultural development
16:00 - 27/06/2022
(VNFU Portal)- The evening of June 24, in Hanoi, a webinar on sharing experiences in agricultural development in a sustainable way was held between the Vietnam Farmers' Union and the Cuban Small Farmers Association.

Comrade Luong Quoc Doan, Member of the Party Central Committee, National Assembly member, Secretary of the Party Union, Chairman of the Central Committee of the VNFU presided over the workshop at the VNFU brigde point

Comrade Luong Quoc Doan, Member of the Central Committee of the Party, Member of the National Assembly, Secretary of the Party Union, Chairman of the Central Committee of the VNFU; Mr. Rafael Santiesteban Pozo, Member of the Central Committee of the Party, Member of the Council of State of Cuba, Chairman of the Cuban Small Farmers Association presided over the workshop.


The workshop aims to enhance understanding, friendship and cooperation between farmers and farmer organizations of Vietnam and Cuba.


Thereby, the two sides shared the Strategy for development of the Associations and sustainable agricultural development according to the Resolution of the Communist Party of Vietnam and Cuba; plans to organize an international conference on Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, scheduled to be held from November 14 to 20, 2022.


Speaking at the workshop, Chairman of the VNFU Luong Quoc Doan emphasized: The special solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and Cuba, laid by President Ho Chi Minh and President Fidel Castro, has been cultivated by generations of Cuban and Vietnamese leaders and has been increasingly consolidated and developed in all fields. The two sides have built close friendship and extensive cooperation between the two Parties, Governments, National Assemblies and at all levels from the central to local levels, between socio-political organizations.


As a socio-political organization of the peasantry led by the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Vietnam Farmers' Union is very honored and pleased to join hands in fostering more intimate, sustainable relationships of the two countries through people-to-people diplomacy together with the Cuban Small Farmers Association.


After 36 years of renovation, Vietnamese agriculture has achieved great results. Vietnam has become the second largest country in Southeast Asia and the 15th in the world in exporting agricultural products. By 2021, export turnover of agricultural products reached more than 48 billion USD, more than 90 times higher than the number in 1986. In particular, a number of commodities have export turnover of over 2 billion USD, such as coffee, rice, and nuts, cashews, vegetables, shrimp, wood and wood products. Vietnamese agricultural products have been present in 196 countries and territories.


Agriculture developed in both scale and production level, maintained a fairly high growth rate, firmly ensuring national food security.


Vietnamese farmers promote better their role as actors, actively transforming production structures, applying science and technology in production, participating in cooperation and production linkages along the value chain. Farmers' income is increasing, material and spiritual life is constantly improved; the poverty rate in rural areas has decreased rapidly.


Vietnam's countryside is undergoing many significant and comprehensive changes. The economic structure of rural areas has been positively transformed; The proportion of the industrial and service economy increased significantly. The National Target Program on building a new rural area has become a far-reaching and pervasive movement, receiving the active participation of the entire political system from the central to grassroots levels.


In the development of agriculture, farmers and rural areas, Vietnam Farmers' Union identifies the collective economy as an important economic component, which together with the government economy contributes to solidifying the national economy. Collective economic development must conform to the requirements and nature of the socialist-oriented market economy and deepening international integration; must regularly pay attention to the renewal, development and improvement of the efficiency of the collective economy and the cooperative economy, with the core - new-type cooperatives. This is an important economic component, together with the government economy, becoming a solid foundation of the national economy.


Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan informed the President of the Cuban Small Farmers Association Rafael Santiesteban Pozo about the position, role, functions, duties, organizational structure and personnel of the Vietnam Farmers' Union.


Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan shared about 3 main functions and 6 tasks of the Union. Currently, the Vietnam Farmers' Union is focusing on implementing 07 key activities in supporting farmers to develop agriculture in a sustainable way.


Firstly, all levels of VNFU promote propaganda, dissemination, legal advice and legal aid to members and farmers in various forms to help farmers relieve their frustrations and conflicts in civil disputes, especially in the field of land, land acquisition and compensation.


From 2018 to now, the Central Committee of the Vietnam Farmers' Union has held 4 dialogues between the Prime Minister and farmers, thereby removing many difficulties and obstacles, strengthening farmers' confidence in the Party and Government, creating motivation for farmers to effectively implement emulation movements in production and business, new rural construction and sustainable poverty reduction.


Second, all levels of VNFU have actively coordinated with central ministries, local departments and agencies, professional agencies, and enterprises to organize 290,500 training courses for nearly 23 million farmers' members. The courses focus on production towards developing new-type cooperatives, production linkages, associated with the transfer of advanced technique in the direction of high technology and safety along the value chain.


Thirdly, Farmers' Unions at all levels have strengthened coordination with the Bank for Social Policies and the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to promote the propaganda of preferential credit policies of the Party and gorvenment in the field of agriculture, farmers and rural areas; consolidating and improving the quality of savings groups loan to help farmers get loans easily.

 
Fourthly, Farmers' Unions at all levels have proactively coordinated and linked with enterprises to propose to the Party committees and local authorities to support farmers in terms of transportation charges, bank interest rates support to buy agricultural supplies and machinery; guarantee, sign contracts with materials and fertilizers enterprises to supply farmers in the form of deferred payment without interest, worth hundreds of billions of dong.


Fifth,provincial FUs build, maintain and develop a system of 726 "Safe Agricultural Product Stores"; actively implement many programs to support farmers in building trademarks and brand of agricultural products; actively organize and participate in trade promotion activities to support farmers to promote product introduction and consumption.


Sixth, Farmers' Union at all levels have supported the development of 3,358 recognized OCOP products in 59 provinces/cities.


Seventhly, over the past 10 years, Vietnam Farmers' Trade School, Vocational Training and Support Centers for farmers in provinces, cities and FUs at all levels have coordinated and directly organized vocational training at primary level and regular vocational training for 2,163,642 farmers.


Chairman of the Cuban Small Farmers Association Rafael Santiesteban Pozo highly appreciated the information and experience sharing of the Vietnam Farmers' Union because it is valuable and useful information for the work of the Cuban Small Farmers Association.


According to the President of the Cuban Small Farmers Association Rafael Santiesteban Pozo, the Cuban Communist Party is very interested in the work of the Cuban Small Farmers Association.


At the 4th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, it analyzed the improvement of organizations and activities faciliating farmers, and defended the model of socialist development. This requires enhancing the role of cooperatives and providing better services.


Currently, together with the Party and Government, the Cuban Small Farmers Association is particularly interested in political assurance to boost agricultural production to meet the needs of the people and the economy.


The Cuban Small Farmers Association organizes every two years the International Conference on Ecological Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture and Cooperativeism. So far 7 meetings has been organized with the participation of more than 1,351 delegates from 41 countries represent the continents. In November this year, the Cuban Small Farmers Association will hold the 8th Congress, very pleased with the presence of the Vietnam Farmers' Union.


At the seminar, Comrade Mai Bac My, Member of the Standing Committee, Director of External Affairs and International Cooperation Department, Central Committee of the Vietnam Farmers' Union, presented the external opinion of the Party, the Government and the Vietnam Farmers' Union on people's diplomacy. VNFU will continue to focus on leading, directing, and creating profound awareness about the role, position and importance of people's diplomacy at all levels of the Union; take the initiative in formulating strategies and plans for development, expansion, consolidation and improvement of the effectiveness of friendly relations and cooperation with international partners domestically and internationally; strengthen farmer exchange activities in the coming time.


Comrade Yamila Sarduy Martinnez, Standing Committee of the Cuban Small Farmers Association in charge of educational, political and ideological work expressed his pleasure that the meeting will help the staff of the Cuban Small Farmers Association gain more working experience. The Cuban Small Farmers Association is ready to act as a bridge for the Vietnam Farmers' Union to send officers to Cuba for study.

 
At the end of the workshop, Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan sincerely thanked the leaders of the Cuban Small Farmers Association for the invitation to visit Cuba.


Chairman of VNFU Luong Quoc Doan agreed to organize annual delegation exchange activities between the two organizations in order to promote the sharing of experiences in agricultural development as well as in the Association's work and the farmers’ movement; strengthen information exchange in online form to discuss and exchange opportunities for cooperation in sustainable agricultural development and food security; exchange on the history and culture of the two countries; research, develop and sign a cooperation agreement between the Vietnam Farmers' Union and the Cuban Small Farmers Association in order to bring the exchange and cooperation activities between the two organizations into depth, efficiency and sustainability. It is expected that in September 2022, the VNFU and the Cuban Small Farmers Association will continue to organize online seminars to exchange experiences.


On this occasion, on behalf of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Farmers' Union, Chairman Luong Quoc Doan cordially invited Chairman of the Cuban Small Farmers Association and the delegation to visit and work with the Vietnam Farmers' Union at an appropriate time.

Vu Cham - Translated by Thu Uyen
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