New large-scale rice cooperatives are expected to reduce farmers' production costs and cut out several middleman traders, according to Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong.

Under the cooperative model, the paddy fields will belong to participating farmers, Dong said.

The ministry's proposal, which is expected to be approved by the Government, will begin with a pilot project in one or two provinces in the Cuu Long ( Mekong ) Delta.

When farmers join the co-operative, they will be given reasonably priced materials of good quality.

Dong said that farmers will have a voice in buying materials and selling their products.

Under the co-operative model, product quality and origin will be ensured and products can be sold at better prices because many middlemen traders will be cut out.

In addition, farmers will have the same benefits and receive Government support, including loans and instructions in farming techniques.

The country's distribution network, including in the Cuu Long ( Mekong ) Delta, still has too many middlemen. Because of this, costs from farmers to the end-users have risen.

If approved, the ministry will begin the project immediately without waiting for the new Law on Co-operatives.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), in co-operation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, will set up the model in one commune and if farmers like it, it will be expanded.

MPI has also proposed to build a seafood centre and then a rice centre.

Dong said the centre will help reduce costs for trade promotion as traders will go there to buy products.

The centre will be a stable outlet for high quality products, he said.-VNA