OCOP Program – A Boost to Rural Economy

10:47:46 AM | 13/11/2020

After two years of implementation, 'One Commune, One Product' (OCOP) Program has created a strong start-up movement, formed many clean agricultural production areas, and high- tech agriculture associated with product value chains; thereby contributing to economic restructuring in rural areas and is an important solution to the implementation of the criteria of production, income, poor households in promoting the rural economy and national agriculture modernization.

Strong effects

The report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development states that, despite its short time of operation, the OCOP program has obtained important achievements. According to the Central Coordination Office on New Rural Development, as of October 12th, 2020, the country had 47 provinces and cities recognizing a total of 2,088 OCOP products which are given 3 stars or more, including 1,366 three-star products, 674 four-star products and 48 products proposed for rating as five stars.

Production and consumption of OCOP products have been promoted in many forms, such as organizing conferences to seek consultation of scientists, managers, businesses and farmers; organizing conferences to connect distributors and producers; participating in trade promotion activities; building, completing and putting into operation 'OCOP product introduction and sale points' in provinces and cities such as Lao Cai, Son La, Bac Kan, Hai Duong, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Ben Tre, Can Tho and Dong Thap.

Promoting modern, smart connection

According to Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien, Chief of Central Coordination Office on New Rural Development, after two years of implementation, the OCOP program has been very productive, drawing the participation of the entire political system, especially rural people. Currently, all the 63 provinces and cities have simultaneously approved the project. Each product participating in the program will be evaluated and rated from 1 star to 5 stars. In the agricultural development orientation, we divide them into three groups of products. The first is the key product group at the national level. The second is the main product group of each province and city such as: Bac Giang lychee, Hung Yen longan, or Dong Thap mango. The third is the group of specialty products, which we now start using the concept of OCOP products. The third group has the greatest potential, because Vietnam has many different climatic and geographic regions and each region has a place to develop its own traditional key specialty products. For example, Ha Tinh - a land often affected by harsh climate - has started to develop local specialties such as Phuc Trach pomelo, Khe May oranges, and Huong Son deer velvet. Although these products are small in scale, they have high added value and are suitable to meet consumer preferences.

However, many OCOP products have high quality but have not been widely sold across the country or attracted the attention of foreign tourists. They are not widely available in major distribution channels. The quantity and types of OCOP products for export are limited. Many OCOP products have a very short life span when entering the market. Many consumers currently lack information about OCOP programs and products, and a group of consumers prefer low-priced products. The reason is due to limited communication of consumer-oriented products.

Currently, the Central Coordination Office on New Rural Development is boosting the OCOP Program project for the period of 2021 - 2025. In this period, the application of digital technologies becomes a central solution to State management and product quality improvement. Besides, it will continue to support opening consumption channels, connecting supply - demand, and further promoting modern consumption channels, through e-commerce systems. It will promote communication so that more consumers become aware of the OCOP program.

By Minh Ngoc, Vietnam Business Forum