The role of Farmers’ Union in supporting cooperative groups needs bringing into full play
17:12 - 07/11/2016
Establishing cooperative groups, cooperatives is not difficult, but how to maintain the operation is not simple like that. Therefore, both bringing into full play the role of Farmers’ Union and creating conditions for supporting cooperative groups, cooperatives with sustainable development are the contents of the workshop “Sharing the value chain study” organized on May 13 by Viet Nam Farmers’ Union (VNFU)”.

At the workshop, 6 value chains of some cooperative groups, cooperatives such as: producing VietGAP oranges in Tan Thanh Commune, Ham Yen, Tuyen Quang; producing, consuming safe vegetables in Thai Binh, phase 2015-2018; providing safe vegetables in Duc Ninh commune, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh; breeding beeves in 5 communes of K’Bang district, Gia Lai; conserving and developing “lonely banana” variety in Phuoc Binh Commune, Ninh Son, Ninh Thuan; producing sustainable coffee in Lam Ha district, Lam Dong were presented by Mr. Pham Thanh Hai, Former Principal of The North Viet Nam College of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

The research shows the analysis of production chain (stakeholders, environment), provides and finds out difficulties in periods of input, producing, collecting, delivering and consuming, then proposes some recommendations. In the research, the comparison about the amount of members, productivity, quantity, price among these cooperative groups, cooperatives was made, also, the capacity to support cooperative groups, cooperatives of Farmers’ Union staff was accessed. Through the models, the research shows that Farmers’ Union staff still lack of supporting capacity, for example, market research, business planning, marketing planning, capacity of promotion, market linkage, building and managing cooperative groups, cooperatives,…..

Experiences from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Mr.  Phuong Tien Tan (Vice- Director of Department of Planning and Investment- Director of IFAD project in Cao Bang) said that based on the experiences on deloying IFAD project which supports cooperative groups, cooperatives, they found out that the market had a decisive role. In order to participate in devoping the value chains, Farmers’Union should access effects and propose solutions to protect farmers from market risks.
For inputs, FU needs to disseminate so that farmers can understand “What is value chain? What is the process in a value chain?’’, encourage them to establish groups in order to reduce costs. When producing, farmers need to be monitored and evaluated, then they will follow strictly the production process. For outputs, FU needs to support farmers join deeply in chains
such as forming groups of collecting products by themselves to reduce currently high intermediary costs, create higher income for farmers. In fact, farmers often have psychology to break contract if the price increases, but enterprises also keep farmers back in weight,
weight, purchasing, product division, etc. FU needs to select enterprises who have enthusiasm with farmers, will not leave farmers alone when having risks.
 In addition, the positiveness and proactiveness of farmers should be promoted through FU to propose to the government, enterprises on the plan on what activities should be done for farmers because at present,  farmers wait passively for programs and projects and only do what they are asked to do.
In “farmer- to- farmer training”, trainer must be in one enterprise to ensure their stability, high living conditions, efforts they made.
In Ha Tinh, over 3 years to support provincial farmers develop their cooperative groups, cooperatives, IFAD has carried out three steps. The most important is the first- annual social-economic planning based on competitive advantages and orientation, the guidance of province, analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities of product markets, policies supported by the State, risks, challenges and responses ... and solutions that help businesses to easily participate in the value chain. The most fundamental thing in this step is to build up
 the value chain analysis format at primary level for the participation of farmers in the chain.
Step 3 is analysis of economic efficiency, thereby, building 3-year action plan, clearly define the role of farmers, FU, enterprises, government together with  budget, responsibility, resources of all stakeholders- said Mr. Nguyen Viet Tuan (IFAD Provincial Coordination Committee).
By this way, FU will bring into their full play to raise the awareness of farmers through FUs at grassroot level, with particular model and help farmers to understand about information of the value chain in their respective localities.
Mr. Vo Thai Tuan (Coordination Board of IFAD project in Ninh Thuan province) shared his experiences on working with FU, IFAD had suitable research and survey on value chain for the poor through cooperatives, cooperative groups. Besides, FU reviewed, consolidated project groups who took part in the value chain, evaluated them in four criteria: working and living regulations, capacity of group leader; business plan linkage with enterprises, providing homogeneous products; products to meet market demand; trade promotion capacity. IFAD will support FU based on each criteria. Society became a service provider, obtain information about the market supply to farmers.

By Xuan Dinh
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