To increase connection, supporting farmers to consume agricultural products
17:14 - 12/07/2021
On July 8 and 9, in Hanoi, Vietnam Farmers' Union (VNFU) at the central level organized a virtual meeting to review farmer support activities for agricultural product consumption and grasp the operation situation of Farmer Support Centers at the provincial, city level.  
Capacity building for VNFU officials 
At the meeting, leaders of 63 provincial, city FUs focused on discussing issues on the implementation of farmer support activities to consume agricultural products in the context of Covid-19 pandemic prevention and control in the spirit of guidance of Official Letter No. 2777, dated May 10, 2021 of VNFU Standing Committee.

At the meeting, the operation of Farmer Support Centers was discussed; experiences, good practices as well as difficulties in the process of implementing the activities were shared and solutions to implement activities in the coming time were proposed. 

According to the leaders of the provincial and city FUs, over the past time, Farmer Support Centers in the provinces and cities have organized many activities to advise and support farmers in various forms. For example, the centers have opened many science and technology training courses, vocational training to improve the production level for farmers; building many production models for economic development; coordinating with reputable enterprises to supply input materials such as fertilizers, plant varieties and livestock, fodder, etc.

"One of the most fundamental content is that the centers need to coordinate and organize the models of farms, cooperative groups, cooperatives, circular agriculture, organic agriculture ... to link farmers. in the value chain, improve the value of agricultural products" affirmed VNFU Vice-Chairman Nguyen Xuan Dinh.

Moreover, the centers organize conferences and exhibitions to connect and improve agricultural production and consumption activities. Recently, some centers have initiated the establishment of clubs to share experiences and support each other in their activities.

Notably, in the context that agricultural products are at risk of being congested due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the central Farmer Support Center was assigned by VNFU to be the focal point to link with the provincial, city Centers to support the consumption of agricultural products for farmers. Through 121 stalls managed by the provincial, city Centers and more than 700 stalls joined by the Centers, VNFU at all levels have connected and consumed nearly 100,000 tons of agricultural products for farmers. 

At the meeting point of Nghe An provincial FU, Mr. Nguyen Quang Tung, Chairman of Nghe An provincial FU affirmed that the Farmers Support Center in the province annually organized 30-40 short-term vocational training courses, 35-45 science and technology training courses, cooperated with 5 enterprises to supply 15,000 tons of fertilizer.

He stated: "Currently, the provincial Farmers Support Center has had 5 stores of agricultural products. Through supporting farmers from production to business, the provincial FU officials have become more active; the farmers, timely grasped the prices of agricultural products as well as the life of farmers, members. The activities have been highly appreciated by the local government bodies, thereby, the role and position of the FU has been enhanced”.

Strengthening the role and position of VNFU
With a system of more than 20 agricultural product stores over the past time, Ninh Binh provincial FU has directly connected to consume more than 100 tons of agricultural products for farmers in the province and other provinces and cities across the country.

Mr. Dinh Hong Thai, Chairman of Ninh Binh provincial FU informed that the provincial FU had mobilized a chain of safe agricultural products stores in the province to participate in supporting locations and human resources to introduce and connect agricultural consumption. In particular, to ensure safety in the prevention and control of the Covid -19 pandemic, agricultural product consumption points are fully equipped with pandemic prevention equipment including masks, disinfectant solution, gloves, ensuring the distance between sellers and customers. The implementation process had been unanimously responded by officials,  farmers, members and the people, recognized by the local government authorities. 

In addition, the FUs of 30 provinces and cities nationwide connected to consume more than 470 tons of Soc Trang purple onions. At Soc Trang meeting point, Mr. Ly Hoang Minh, Vice Chairman of Soc Trang provincial FU said that due to the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the consumption of purple onions in Vinh Chau town, Soc Trang province had faced many difficulties. The output of purple onions in Vinh Chau town, Soc Trang province was over 50,000 tons, if they had been not consumed in time, they would have caused damages and economic losses to producers. In the spirit of supporting farmers to consume agricultural products due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, VNFU Standing Committee issued Official Letter No. 2798 requesting the provincial FU to actively support the consumption of purple onions for farmers, members in Soc Trang province. 
To contribute to accompanying farmers in connecting and consuming agricultural products among provinces and cities, regions and inter-regions across the country, many delegates shared the same opinion that VNFU Standing Committee issue a resolution, program or project on the connection of agricultural products among FUs at the provinces and cities. In the immediate future, it was to consume domestic agricultural products, gradually build linkages, produce and export them according to market standards, etc.

Concluding at the meeting, VNFU Vice-Chairman Nguyen Xuan Dinh recognized, praised and highly appreciated the FUs at the provinces and cities in 6 emulation clusters and VNFU Farmer Support Center who had implemented many activities to support members and farmers, especially consuming agricultural products for farmers in the pandemic affected areas.

On the basis of the comments and suggestions of the delegates, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Dinh emphasized that in the coming time, the local Centers, depending on the actual situation, would organize a number of core activities such as capacity building training for farmers, members on both science, technology and international integration, trade promotion skills, consulting, branding, etc. Besides, vocational training, job introduction, input activities should be organized, high quality essential goods for farmers, members should be provided as well. 
In addition, the Centers need to do a good job of organizing output services, developing plans to consume agricultural products according to seasonal and regular times; organize exchange visits, sharing experience events, etc. 
Thu Ha - Translated by Huong Lan
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