The province of Sóc Trăng plans to strengthen the program “one municipality, one product”

VIETNAM, September 15 – SÓC TRĂNG — The province of Sóc Trăng, in the Cửu Long (Mekong) delta, is working hard to boost its “one commune, one product” program by strengthening links between cooperatives in order to create more jobs for residents and increase incomes.

The province has about 1,336 cooperative groups and 231 cooperatives in various sectors, but mainly in agriculture, according to its party committee.

Huỳnh Ngọc Nhã, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the collective economy plays an important role in promoting socio-economic development, especially agriculture.

The development of cooperatives and cooperative groups has led to an improvement in both volumes and quality to serve domestic sales and exports, he said.

Most cooperative members in the province have received training in advanced agricultural techniques and have benefited from reduced costs and increased selling prices since the cooperatives buy inputs in large quantities and have outlets and guaranteed prices.

OCOP products seek to honor Việt Nam’s high quality agro-silvo-fishery products which are well known in domestic and foreign markets.

There are about 180 OCOP products in the province, including four varieties of fragrant rice, ST 24, organic rice from Bờ Đập agricultural farm, Tài Nguyên from Phú Khang and Sữa from An Cư.

Sóc Trăng has created many local specialty rice varieties like ST 24 and ST 25, the former won third prize in the World’s Best Rice Contest in 2017 while the latter was on top in 2019.

Its ST varieties are also cultivated in other provinces and are in high demand at home and abroad.

More and more farmers are growing fragrant and specialty varieties for export in recent years, according to the department.

In Long Phú district, for example, special varieties are grown on 46.7% of the total area.

Sóc Trăng takes various measures to foster links between the production and consumption actors of the OCOP.

Its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has helped farmers adopt successful models such as two-stage shrimp farming and farming shrimp and black tilapia in the same pond.

It has also helped seven localities set up clean food stores to showcase OCOP products.

Farmers are encouraged to turn to high-value vegetables, aquaculture or breeding in unproductive rice fields.

The province has advantages for raising cows as it has warm and humid weather and plenty of plants all year round, and the locals have had a tradition of herding the animal for generations.

In 2020, the province had more than 10,000 dairy cows, double from 2013.

It also has more than 44,000 oxen.

Raising cows and oxen has improved the lives of people in rural areas and helped many households escape poverty, according to the province’s People’s Committee. —VNS

Joan D. Boling