No more worry about rice price squeeze thanks to Rach Lop Cooperative's new way of doing
Telling each other to join the cooperative
We got to Tan Hung Commune when members of the cooperative were busy harvesting winter crop. People were so cheerful as this year they had a bumper crop with high selling price and their fresh rice were bought right at the field by enterprises. Talking to the reporter, Mr. Huynh Dang Khoa – Director of Rach Lop Cooperative – shared that in the next crop, the cooperative would continue to sign an underwriting contract with enterprises for almost 1,400 tons of rice with the price for fresh rice at the field of 5,550 dong/kg, which was 50-100 dong/kg higher compared to the common market price.
Farmers in Tan Hung Commune produce without worry ever since Rach Lop Cooperative came into operation. Photo by Duc Thinh.
About agricultural inputs, for the last three crops, Rach Lop Cooperative has cooperated with enterprises to provide farmers with more than 100 tons of guaranteed rice seedlings approved by the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute.
At the beginning, Rach Lop Cooperative only had 412 members. However, after two bumper crops, the number increased to 448 members. And currently, the cooperative is processing 60 submissions, and looking forwards to having about 1,000 members by 2020.
“Due to the poor performance of the old cooperative and the not-want-to-join-a-cooperative mindset of old people, it took us 2 months to ask people to join to establish the cooperative. Now that the cooperative is stablized, the profit it brings to its members has reached 498 million dong in less than a year from the initial authorized capital of 1 billion dong” – Khoa informed.
According to Khoa, the production area of members includes 400 hectares of rice and 200 hectares of conunut. Moreover, the cooperative also connects with other farming households in Tan Hung Commune to have more than 200 hectares for production. Despite being an one-year-old cooperative, Rach Lop Cooperative has been handling inputs and outputs really well for its members. Therefore, instead of worrying about price squeeze, members can focus on production.
Particularly, in the 2016-2017 winter-spring crop, Rach Lop Cooperative underwrote 500 tons of OM5451 rice for members at the price of 5,700 dong/kg for fresh rice at the field, 300 dong/kg higher compared to market price, hence, members were very happy as the profit increased by 150 million dong. In the following crop, the cooperative signed an underwriting contract with Quang Phat Company for 1,200 tons of rice at the price of 5,000 dong/kg for fresh rice at the field, higher than the price of 4,800-4,900 dong/kg offered by dealers. For the recent 2017 autumn-winter crop, the cooperative continued to signed an underwriting contract for 1,400 tons of rice at the price of 5,550 dong/kg for fresh rice at the field.
Developing the cooperative for members’ benefits
Mr. Nguyen Van Nhanh, one of the initial members, shared: “Joining the cooperative brings us many benefits. It underwrites my produce at a higher price compared to the market price. It also helps us buy guaranteed fertilizers, pesticides”.
Director Huynh Dang Khoa was excited to share that cooperatives would be supported in training and human resource, in accordance with Circular no.340 of Ministry of Finance. By which, the cooperative currently has two agricultural engineers in charge of consulting and giving instructions on effective cultivation, composting techniques.
Mr. Nguyen Van Hoang, a member of Rach Lop Cooperative, said: “I’m used to plant rice using traditional methods, not caring much about applying technologies to production, thus, my crops were not productive. However, ever since I joined the cooperative, engineers of the cooperative come to my place every week to consult me about farming techniques and as the result, I can save many expenses but still have productive crops”.
Director Khoa addressed that in future, the cooperative would extend its services to maintain the whole structure, such as irrigation for paddy fields, opening safety produce store in Tieu Can Market. “However, to expand the rice chain, the cooperative still faces many problems due to capital shortage. Therefore, the cooperative expects support in access to preferential loans in order to expand its operation and elevate income for members” – Khoa said.