HO CHI MINH CITY, (PNA/VNS) -— The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has urged its members to strengthen links with rice cooperatives and farming groups to gradually develop their own sources to buy the grain, which is soon set to become one of the criteria for export licenses.
Speaking at a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, VFA chairman Truong Thanh Phong said in recent years local authorities and businesses have been working on various linkage models in the rice sector.
They include the large-scale rice field model in which businesses invest the entire costs upfront — from that of seeds to harvest — and buy the entire output.
This has been implemented by the An Giang Import Export Joint Stock Company and Dong Thap Trading Corporation (Docimexco) among others.Under other models, businesses provide farmers with seeds or place orders with farmers to produce certain varieties of rice and buy their produce, Phong said.
Companies that have not tied up with farmers for rice supply, he said, should work with cooperatives or small groups of farmers starting from the upcoming winter-spring crop.
Depending on their status, they can choose to invest 100 percent or just provide seeds and sign deals to buy the output at agreed prices.
They have to also cooperate with local agricultural officials to teach farmers cropping techniques and supervise the farming process, he said.
After the winter-spring crop, the association plans to organize a meeting to review the effectiveness of the models and discuss measures for further expansion.
Pham Van Du, deputy head of the Department of Crop Production, said establishing large-scale rice fields is imperative for ensuring quality, developing brands, and, ultimately, improving farmers’ incomes.
More and more areas have switched to the model in recent years, but the biggest remaining difficulty is improving cooperation between the businesses and farmers, he said.
They have only focused on providing inputs like seeds, fertilizers, and insecticides, but not on buying farmers’ produce, he said.
He urged the association’s member companies to strengthen cooperation with farmers in rice production and purchase, especially the latter.
The seminar also heard attendees hold forth on typical linkage models like large-scale rice field models developed by the An Giang Import Export JS Company and others.