HCM City cooperatives seek expansion abroad - HCM City cooperatives seek expansion abroad - Website Ho Chi Minh City
With strong support from authorities, cooperatives in Ho Chi Minh City have developed strongly and are making efforts to expand their trade on agricultural products even into international markets.
When it was established in 2011, Phu Loc Agriculture – Trade – Services Cooperative had only 12 members growing vegetables and capital of 600 million VND (26,300 USD).
By 2016 the capital had increased 10-fold to 6 billion VND (263,000 USD), with the cooperative attributing it to members’ efforts to save.
To sustain production, the cooperative has developed five farming areas in Cu Chi and Binh Chanh districts of HCM City and in the provinces of Lam Dong, Tien Giang and Long An.
It has also invested in two processing plants in the two districts with modern technologies and meeting food hygiene and safety standards.
In the last four years the cooperative has taken part in the city’s price-stabilisation programmes for consumer goods, selling 400 tonnes of products a month, rising to 450 tonnes during Lunar New year.
Its products, which meet VietGap quality standards, are sold at many markets in the city like Ben Thanh, Van Thanh and Thi Nghe and supplied to restaurants, kindergartens and canteens.
Now it has 176 producers who grow 68ha of vegetables.
Phuoc An Agriculture, Production and Trade Cooperative is another successful co-operative.
Starting with 15 members and capital of 70 million VND (3,100 USD), it has grown to 62 members who farm 29ha and 1.8 billion VND (79,000 USD).
Every year it sells nearly 1,500 tonnes of vegetables and fruits, and last year earned revenues of 22.3 billion VND (98,000 USD).
The cooperative attributes the growth to close cooperation between members and its support for them.
It sells inputs to members at low prices after buying large quantities, enables them to obtain preferential loans, and helps them adopt advanced technologies.
The members have meanwhile actively looked for buyers and improved their management.
With the city planning to develop a new model for the sector in 2018-20, many co-operatives have made all-out efforts to improve the quality of their products.
Along with stamping their products, Phu Loc Cooperative has studied to diversify their products.
Phu Loc Cooperative plans to supply 500kg of vegetable buds to the market. It is growing hydroponic vegetables on an area of 3,500sq.m.
To expand its business, especially abroad, it has set up an online shopping page at www.phulocagain.com.
It has invested in technology to develop new varieties of vegetables, and sent samples to Australia to test the quality, following which it plans to export to that country.
To support cooperatives, the HCM City administration has tasked the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Cooperative Alliance with supplying them inputs like seeds and fetilisers and helping them sell their products.
The co-operatives also get priority in the city’s agricultural development programmes.