18 June 2017

Deputy PM urges for cooperative development attached to modern rural construction

NDO – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in coordination with the northern province of Ha Nam organised a seminar on June 17 to review five years of implementing the 2012 Cooperative Law on agricultural development in the Red River Delta and the North Central regions.

Reports at the conference showed that, the recent 5th plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee on perfecting the socialist-oriented market economy has identified the collective economy as one of the three cores (alongside State and private sectors) to develop an independent and autonomous economy.

For the Red River Delta and the North Central regions, although only accounting for 22% of the country’s total area, the population concentration in the regions is very high. Rural residents at about 17 million people with 3 million households are favourable conditions for cooperative development, especially in the field of agricultural economics.

After four years of implementation, the 2012 Cooperative Law basically meets requirements for cooperative development in the current situation. A number of localities have supplemented specific policies and mechanisms and directed drastic implementation of the Law, thus gaining positive results in re-registration, dissolution and establishment of new-style cooperatives to improve the efficiency of cooperatives.

The Red River Delta and North Central regions have basically completed the conversion and re-registration of cooperatives under the Law. By the end of 2016, there were more than 5,500 agricultural cooperatives in the two regions, with over 2.5 million members, accounting for 51.4% of the total number of agricultural cooperatives in the country. Of which, the number of cooperatives engaged in integrated services account for 76.8%, while those operating in the fields of cultivation, husbandry, forestry and fishery account for 23.2%.

Speaking at the event, Politburo member and Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue stressed the need to promote the transmission of views and provisions under the 2012 Cooperative Law to local officials, administrations and people.

The objective of this law is to build a new type of cooperative and a form of cooperation, however, the foundation is still promoting household economic development, the government official said, adding that it is important to promote the role of cooperatives in facilitating the development of household economies and increasing people’s incomes closely associated with the construction of modern rural areas.

Along with that, the deputy PM, who is also head of the Steering Committee for Renovation and Development of Collective Economy and Cooperative, asked concerned ministries and agencies to focus on their State management role.

He urged them to study new policies in line with reality, handle debts and create favourable conditions for old-style cooperatives to switch to new-style ones, as well as promote the formation of large-scale cooperatives and establishment of enterprises inside cooperatives, while supporting new-style cooperatives to consume local products and improve operation.

It is necessary to facilitate cooperatives to participate in the VND100 trillion loan programme for hi-tech agricultural development and encourage enterprises to invest in agriculture and rural areas, Deputy PM Hue added.

Delegates visit an agricultural greenhouse farming model in Nhan Khang commune, Ly Nhan district, Ha Nam province. (Credit: NDO)

After four years of implementing the Law, the two regions have 4,160 cooperatives and two unions of agricultural cooperatives registered to operate under the Law, with over 940 new founding cooperatives; 655 dissolved and 222 converted to other types.

After their re-registration and conversion, many cooperatives have re-organised their management towards more streamlined processes. In addition to the implementation of essential services, some cooperatives have begun to assist members in applying technical advances as well as cover producing and consuming agricultural products that meet quality standards and safe hygiene practices.

They have been associated with businesses to participate in hi-tech, clean and safe production programmes to produce good quality agricultural products, thereby improving production efficiency and increasing income for its members.

However, according to statistics released by provinces and cities, only 29.5% of agricultural cooperatives are classified as up to standard, while the rest are in inefficient operation due to difficulties in capital, assets, business production plans and staff qualifications.

Delegates discussed solutions to overcome difficulties to improve the effectiveness of post-conversion cooperatives, such as allowing cooperatives to borrow up to VND500 million, increasing cooperative member’s contributed capital to 40% of the chartered capital, instead of the current 30%, and converting cooperatives into enterprises.

In September, the Prime Minister will preside over a national conference reviewing five years of implementing the 2012 Cooperative Law.



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