Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue speaks at the meeting on August 18 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has emphasised the importance of ensuring quality and effectiveness of agricultural cooperatives, instead of pursuing formalism in their establishment.

He made the remark at a meeting on August 18 that discussed policies about linking production and consumption of agricultural products and the development of 15,000 agricultural cooperatives and cooperative unions by 2020.

Deputy PM Hue, who also leads of the Steering Committee for Innovation and Development of Collective Economy and Cooperatives, said thanks to various efforts by authorities at all levels and sectors, the collective economy and cooperatives have got rid of prolonged weaknesses and begun to flourish, making up 5.6 percent of total GDP.

With the current development trend, the target of 15,000 cooperatives by 2020 is quite reachable, he noted.

The National Assembly issued Resolution 32/2016/QH14 on continuing to improve the implementation of the national target programme on building new-style rural areas in association with agricultural restructuring. Meanwhile, Decision 461/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister aims at developing 15,000 effective agricultural cooperatives and cooperative unions by 2020.

He said the two documents stress not only the quantity but also the quality of cooperatives, and utmost efforts must be made to achieve that goal.

It is necessary to keep promoting the quality the 4,400 cooperatives with effective operations, and 1,500 of them must apply high technology. Meanwhile, the weak ones must improve themselves to operate effectively by 2020, the official added.

Hue also underlined the need to continue improving public awareness, especially among Party members, officials and farmers, of the plan on setting up 15,000 cooperatives.

Setting up cooperatives is a compulsory task with farmers being the key player to develop large-scale agricultural production, he noted.

According to a report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, by the end of June, there had been 39 cooperative unions and almost 12,600 cooperatives working in the agricultural sector. More than 1,140 cooperatives were set up in the first half of this year.

A survey of 9,266 agricultural cooperatives in 2017 showed that only 12 percent of them operated well while another 12.4 percent performed poorly.

The ministry admitted that some localities have established cooperatives only to meet the 13th target of the new-style rural area building programme while ignoring their operation effectiveness. Some cooperatives have been set up but only waited for the State’s support.

At the meeting, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of the Central Highland Lam Dong province Pham S suggested focusing on hi-tech and smart agriculture while pushing ahead with trade promotion to enhance competitiveness. He also called on the Government to facilitate cooperatives’ access to capital to reach the target of 15,000 cooperatives by 2020.

Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of central Nghe An province Dinh Viet Hong asked for specific policies on the establishment of cooperatives in mountainous and ethnic minority areas.-VNA