Ca Mau supports agricultural cooperatives hinh anh 1Growing clean rice in Ca Mau province’s Thoi Binh district (Source: VNA)
Ca Mau (VNS/VNA) - The Ca Mau province People’s Committee has earmarked 4 billion VND (172,320 USD) worth of subsidies for seven new-style agricultural cooperatives this year.

The money will be used to develop infrastructure and build warehouses and plants to process the province’s key agricultural products.

Nguyen Tien Hai, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, has instructed the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to inform the cooperatives that they need to complete all required procedures to receive the subsidies.

The southern-most province has more than 200 cooperatives, including 135 in agriculture, according to its Cooperatives Alliance.

Do Van So, chairman of the alliance, said many grow clean rice and breed shrimp to Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards and adopt advanced technologies, including biofloc technology to manage water quality for intensive shrimp farming.

The Kinh Don Agricultural Service Co-operative in Tran Van Thoi district’s Khanh Binh Tay Bac commune, for instance, grows clean rice that is exported to the EU, the Republic of Korea and the Philippines.

Nguyen Truong Doi, its director, said the rice grown by his cooperative members has purchase deals with companies who pay 200 VND a kilogramme higher than the market price.

Its membership has grown from 27 when it was established nearly five years ago to 65 members now, and more farmers are applying, he said.

Members of the Cai Bat Aquaculture Cooperative in Cai Nuoc district’s Hoa My commune breed shrimp on 30ha to ASC standards and 348ha to Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards.

The entire output is sold under agreements with companies.

Nguyen Hoang An, its director said, the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development acts as a bridge with input supplying companies, helping the cooperative develop sustainably.

The cooperative has also set up women’s groups to make products from its shrimp such as dried shrimp, salted shredded shrimp, shrimp paste, and shrimp crackers.

It has achieved the targets set by the cooperative management board, and this has been due to several factors, including the support provided by local authorities by transferring advanced farming techniques, he said.

Nevertheless, the province has many cooperatives that have difficulty mobilising resources, limited management capacity and lack knowledge of advanced techniques.

The People’s Committee has instructed all authorities to tighten oversight to improve the operations of cooperatives.

The province has so far provided financial support to 15 new-style cooperatives to develop their infrastructure under the Government’s Decision 445 issued in 2016. - VNS/VNA