Outcomes of the ‘One Village, One Product’ programme

Monday, 2020-01-06 17:02:57
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A store selling Quang Ninh's One Commune-One Product (OCOP) products (Photo: VNA)
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NDO – The ‘One Village, One Product’ programme targeted to improve income, create job, reduce poverty and increase the living standard of people. After one year of implementation, the programme has generated significant outcomes in shifting the economic structure towards modernisation, changing people’s perception from using outdated production methods to adapting to the market economy, thus paving a new way in the manufacture and sale of traditional products in rural areas.

Opportunities for traditional products

The OCOP program has helped to boost the expansion of production, increase the product value chain, improve people’s incomes, and effectively promote the building of new-style rural areas. People play a major role in the OCOP program as they decide to invest in the products of their localities that have strong competitive advantages of their localities while meeting market needs.

The southern province of Tra Vinh has selected five to ten typical products such as: cha lua (Vietnamese sausage) and banh tet (‘Tet’ cake) as their key OCOP products. The provincial authorities have worked out policies to provide support, guidance and instructions for locals on the labelling and origin-tracing stamps of the products, thus encouraging people’s positive participation in the OCOP programme.

The programme has also received much interest from local authorities and people in Quang Ngai Province and Ly Son Island District in particular. Ly Son islanders have targeted to lift products such as onion and garlic into key products representing the district in the market.

Nguyen Vu Nguyen, owner of a garlic and onion business in Hung Vinh Commune, Ly Son District, shared that although Ly Son has been known for its good-quality garlic and onion, the production of these products had remained traditional without proper investment into labelling and packaging, thus facing a number of difficulties in reaching customers. Since joining the OCOP programme, Nguyen’s products have been welcomed more wholeheartedly by customers.

In 2019, despite unfavourable weather condition which cut the productivity by 60%, as usual, the price for garlic grown in Ly Son was still sold at VND150,000 per kilogramme, triple than in 2018.

According to Nguyen Huy Hung, Director of Tuyen Quang Province’s sub-department of Rural Development, the provincial authorities have promulgated a number of plans and documents providing guidance and directions on implementing the OCOP programme.

The province targets that by 2020, each district in Tuyen Quang will develop a brand for a key product joining the programme, including the goat meat of Lam Binh District, Shan Tuyet tea of Na Hang District, peanuts of Chiem Hoa District, and oranges of Ham Yen District.

Paving the way to get into supermarkets

Visitors check information on products on display at the Lao Cai agricultural specialties and OCOP products exhibition held in early December 2019 at the Big C Thang Long supermarket in Hanoi (Photo: NDO/Minh Trang)

Although many agricultural products have been popular in domestic markets, they are struggling to find a position at supermarkets. Therefore, ministries, sectors and localities have worked out ways to help OCOP products become more marketable and get them into supermarkets.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has signed plans with agencies and businesses for joint actions in implementing OCOP programme while building an online trading platform for OCOP products.

Many businesses and economic groups have committed to supporting localities in offering certification and standardisation for their OCOP products.

Nguyen Thi Phuong, Deputy General Director of Central Group Vietnam, said that the Big C supermarket chain has teamed up with the provinces of Quang Ninh and Ben Tre to successfully organise 11 OCOP trade fairs in its three branches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Phuong revealed that a total of 40 OCOP products are now being sold by the chain, and 50 more products of this kind will hit the shelves in the coming time.

In a same effort to get its OCOP products into supermarkets, Lao Cai provincial authorities recently coordinated with the Big C supermarket chain to host the Lao Cai agricultural specialties and OCOP products exhibition in early December last year at the Big C Thang Long supermarket in Hanoi.

On display were 46 OCOP products certified with three to five stars, such as Seng Cu rice, Tham Duong glutinous rice, sausages, smoked buffalo meat, cabbage, mushrooms, Muong Khuong chili sauce, dried bamboo shoots, vermicelli and smoked salmon.

The event was a good opportunity for the province to introduce and promote its agricultural products, to help consumers have better understanding of its trustworthy products, and to connect businesses between the two localities, as well as to present investors with potential investment opportunities in the province.

More drastic measures needed to increase competitiveness of OCOP products

A farmer in An Hai Commune, Ly Son District in the central province of Quang Ngai harvests garlic. (Photo: VNA)

Although the OCOP programme has brought about positive signals for economic development in rural areas, there are still obstacles and shortcomings in implementing the programme.

Several localities are still confused about identifying and producing their key products that have competitive advantages. In addition, trade promotional activities and the management of product quality have not yet received due attention and investment from local authorities. Not to mention the lack of connectivity among businesses and localities which have joined the programme, which, if improved, can boost consumption of its products and encourage the application of science-technology and intellectual property protection.

Ngo Tat Thang, deputy head of the Central Coordination Office on New Rural Development, suggested that ministries, sectors and localities should step up communication campaigns to encourage the application of science-technology in producing OCOP products, foster promotional activities at domestic and international trade fairs, and develop a system of OCOP agricultural product supply and distribution which can help to promote the consumption of OCOP products and improve the competitive edge of Vietnamese goods.

He advised local authorities to devise a development strategy for their key OCOP products and make further investment in market research and market forecasting to have a long-term direction for businesses and local households.

The local authorities should also preserve and promote traditional crafts and products, and develop connection between farmers and businesses while becoming more active in hosting trade fairs to showcase their signature specialities, which can provide opportunities to boost product consumption in both domestic and international markets.

The OCOP was initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2008, following the model of Japan’s “One Village, One Product” (OVOP) drive and Thailand’s “One Town, One Product” (OTOP). It is an economic development programme for rural areas focusing on increasing internal power and values, contributing to the implementation of the National Target Programme on New Rural Development for 2016-2020.

The overall objective of the programme is to develop stable and sustainable forms of production for organisations and businesses (with priority given to developing cooperatives and small- and medium-sized enterprises), towards producing traditional products and improving services with high competitiveness in the domestic and international markets, thus promoting rural economy and national agriculture industrialisation and modernisation.