IDACA NEWS

NO.110

February 15, 2018

IDACA President’s Inaugural Speech

INTERIM REPORT ON THE MYANMAR PROJECT

REPORTS ON TRAINING COURSES

  1. FY2016 ICA/Japan Training Course on Fostering Core Leaders of Agricultural Cooperatives
  2. FY2017 JICA Training Course on “Development of Agricultural Cooperatives and Improvement of Management Capacity (A)”

OVERSEAS BUSINESS TRIP REPORT

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OVERSEAS BUSINESS TRIP REPORT

FY2016 ICA/IDACA Follow-Up Guidance and Survey Program Report (Vietnam)


Basic Information on Vietnam

In the previous edition, we reported on our activities in Malaysia on the FY 2016 follow-up guidance and survey program. This time, we will continue with reporting on our activities in Vietnam.

Upon completing its mission in Malaysia, the IDACA/ICA follow-up team moved to Vietnam on February 12, and carried out research activities from February 13 to February 19.

Basic Information on Vietnam

Vietnam became a French colony in the 1880s, followed by such events as the Japanese military occupation in the 1940s and the Vietnam War in the 1960s. It finally became independent in 1976 as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

With a land area of 329,241 square kilometers, Vietnam is slightly smaller than Japan, but similar to Japan, it has a long, curved and narrowly elongated coastline, and furthermore, three-quarters of its national land is mountainous terrain including the Annamite Range towering on the border area with Laos and Cambodia. Spreading to the south is the fertile Mekong Delta, to which the Mekong River flows. Food is abundant in the sea, the mountains, and the villages, with Hanoi in the northern area and Ho Chi Minh City in the southern area forming a great food basket. Similar to Japan, Vietnam also has a diverse climate that varies significantly between the north and south.

The population is about 92.5 million, with the Kinh (Vietnamese people) accounting for about 86% of the total population. There are also 53 ethnic minority groups including the Hmong, Muong, and Khmer. The religion practiced in Vietnam include Buddhism (80%), Catholic, and Caodaism, and the official language is Vietnamese.

Research Activities in Vietnam

Activities in Vietnam began with a visit to the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA). Former participants who were the subjects of the survey gathered in a meeting room at VCA and welcomed us. In the morning, we received a briefing on a report on the cooperative movement in Vietnam as well as the organization and activities of the VCA.

After lunch, we conducted interviews with the former participants in the afternoon. Nine of the 11 former participants who were subjects of the survey were present for the interviews. With regard to the situation of the implementation of the action plans that were created at the time they participated in the training courses, two former participants had already implemented their action plans, while three were currently in the process of implementing their plans, and two were scheduled to carry out their plans upon making some revisions in the future. Unfortunately, there were two cases in which the former participants were unable to implement their plans due to budget shortage or cancellation because consent could not be gained from superiors or stakeholders. Among these, is an agricultural cooperative to which a former participant from Bac Giang Province who participated in the FY2015 ICA/Japan Training Course on Fostering Core Leaders of Agricultural Cooperatives belongs. We visited this agricultural cooperative, which is currently implementing the former participant’s action plan, and observed its activities.

Visit to Lua Vang Service and Agriculture Cooperative (agricultural cooperative to which former participant Mr. Nguyen Trung Dien belongs)

This agricultural cooperative was established in 2010 by collecting capital worth 200 million Vietnamese Dong (VND). It has a membership of about 40 farm households and hires eight employees. The main business activities of the members are the fattening of piglets (Mong Cai pig) and selling them. In addition to pigs, the cooperative also conducts the business of selling beef and goats. The cooperative also provides its members with training in such matters as pig breeding techniques, methods of preventing diseases, quality management, and methods of recording production history. In addition, this agricultural cooperative hires a veterinarian to regularly visit its member farmers and provide guidance on such matters as breeding in general and the condition of pig pens. Among the issues the agricultural cooperative faces are the expansion of sales channels, PR activities toward consumers, and understanding consumer needs. With regard to current initiatives, the agriculture cooperative has held workshops and distributed posters to consumers to have them learn about Mong Cai pigs.

Contents of Mr. Nguyen Tran Dien’s Action Plan

Theme: Construction of a Supply Chain for High-Quality Mong Cai Piglets

Mong Cai pig
► Activity 1:
• Designate and introduce production standards related to the rearing of pigs
 (July 1, 2016 to August 1, 2016)
• Agricultural cooperatives shall produce feed
 (July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017)
► Activity 2:
• Perform research/analysis and develop new markets
 (November 1, 2016 to July 1, 2018)
► Activity 3:
• Introduce loans for members of agricultural cooperatives
 (November 1, 2016 to July 1, 2018)
Issues
  • The quality of piglets has not reached the level required by the market.
  • Members of Lua Vang Service and Agriculture Cooperative are engaged in the production of piglets, but the scale is small, and quality standards are not monitored.
  • Since production costs are quite high, the agricultural cooperative cannot compete in the market in the sales price of piglets.
  • The feed that is circulating in the market is not safe.
  • Members of Lua Vang Service and Agriculture Cooperative have low income.
  • This agricultural cooperative was established in 2010, and is operating its businesses mainly in Bac Giang Province. Where there are many competitors. Therefore, the need for opening new sales offices is felt.
  • Since feed prices have been soaring, production costs have also risen.

A slaughterhouse

Among the action plans that have been created on the basis of Mr. Dien’s analysis of the issues and that is currently in progress is the construction of a slaughterhouse for which one billion VND has been spent. After completion, Mr. Dien wants to create a food value chain that includes the production, processing and sales of pigs – indeed the theme of his action plan. Production of feed using rice flour, etc. that is produced locally is also scheduled to come into operation. In addition, this agricultural cooperative has a crisis management account (risk fund) allocated in its reserves, and it has a mechanism for partial compensation when a member’s revenue cannot be secured if pigs develop a disease or if market prices decline. Mr. Dien, who has been mainly conducting this type of business operation has won deep trust from member farmers, and we heard many people voicing expectations for his activities in the future.

Other Places Visited

Sinh Duoc Cooperative

Lien Duong Agricultural Cooperative

The follow-up team also traveled to Ninh Binh Province and visited the Ninh Binh Province Cooperative Alliance (PCA) and its member organizations: Sinh Duoc Cooperative, (medicinal herb production, processing) and Lien Duong Agricultural Cooperative (red pepper production and sales). In Phu Tho Province, the follow-up team visited the Phu Tho Province Cooperative Alliance (PCA) and its member organizations: Vinh Lai Agricultural Cooperative (rice, vegetables, fruit production and sales) and Hung Lo People's Credit Fund (credit union). In this way, the follow-up team deepened knowledge about cooperatives in Vietnam.