OCOP Program Developed Toward Circular Economy

11:00:54 AM | 7/22/2021

After three years, the One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program has unlocked local potential across the country and gradually transformed smallholding production into closed value chains. To make OCOP a truly effective approach to rural economic development, many obstacles need to be removed. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien, Director of the Central Coordination Office for New Rural Development.

How has the OCOP Program been confirmed as a key rural economic development program?

After nearly three years of implementation, the OCOP Program has been deployed in all 63 provinces and cities across the country. 4,469 products are certified with three-star or higher labels. 354 producers are selling their OCOP products in supermarkets. The OCOP program has boosted rural socio-economic development, unlocked local potential and strengths to develop distinctive products and industries based on local production advantages, raw material areas and traditional culture, to increase the value of OCOP products as made by traditional handicraft villages in the Red River Delta. More than 145 OCOP products are made from local inputs and assigned geographical indications such as Shan Tuyet Hoang Su Phi tea of Ha Giang province, Tan Cuong tea of Thai Nguyen province, coffee of Son La province, and rice of Soc Trang and An Giang provinces. Small-scale production has been expanded and upgraded into closed value chains joined by cooperatives and small and medium-sized enterprises. The OCOP Program has generated many jobs and accelerated rural economic development. In particular, the roles of women and ethnic minorities have been promoted. Typically, OCOP producers in Quang Ninh province have created over 3,800 jobs and OCOP producers in Ha Tinh province are employing 2,196 workers.

However, the program still has certain limitations. As a new program, it relates to many fields, particularly, it is required to arouse local potential and advantages for economic development. Therefore, in the early stages of implementation, some localities were still confused about how to do it. As a result, they just focused on improving existing products rather than developing new ones. Producers lack resources, while policies are not very supportive. Many lack guidelines of the program, especially legal provisions for manufacturing, distribution, quality, packaging and labeling of products.

What are the effects of OCOP development cooperation?

According to the OCOP Program in 2021-2025, the country will have 10,000 OCOP products qualifying for 3-star rankings or higher, at least 3% of which will achieve the 5-star grade. The total budget for the Program is forecast at VND57 trillion, of which VND11.4 trillion is funded by economic organizations and the rest will come from credit loans and other sources. To develop OCOP products sustainably, it is essential to forge cooperation in OCOP development. OCOP products are locally sourced, featured by cultural identity and advantages. Community tourism products and services and tourist attractions are based on local natural advantages and strengths, landscapes and cultures. It is necessary to link OCOP cooperation, not in the narrow sense that products must be of local origin. For example, OCOP products are made in Hanoi but inputs may be supplied by other provinces.

It is very necessary to accelerate information technology application and digital transformation in the OCOP Program, thus making product records, managing OCOP data, building a traceability system along the value chain, aligning State supervision and certification, standardizing OCOP product development cooperation along the value chain to better meet market requirements.

What solutions are needed for the effective deployment of the OCOP Program?

In 2021-2025, the OCOP Program must be linked to green products, circular economy and environmental protection. As a result, we need socialized centers to train, design, exchange and learn from experience. We have planned to establish four innovative centers in Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Hue, or the Mekong Delta. Besides, community tourism expected to be assigned 5-star ranking, needs training in homestay and farm stay for stakeholders. Moreover, policies on product quality control should be concerned and promoted. At the central level, seven ministries take part in this purpose. Trade promotion has been accelerated by shops selling OCOP products. Hanoi has pedestrian streets selling OCOP products of Hanoi and other localities in the Red River Delta and Mekong Delta.

Source:  Vietnam Business Forum