Driving Rural Economic Development

8:10:24 AM | 9/22/2021

The One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program has enabled agricultural restructuring, raised production value and branded agricultural products for many localities after three years of implementation, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. In the coming time, besides upholding achieved results, localities need to improve product quality and innovation to attract domestic and foreign consumers.

Expanding consumer markets

Quang Ninh province initiated the OCOP Program. Mr. Bui Van Khang, Vice Chairman of Quang Ninh Provincial People's Committee, said Quang Ninh defined this as an important endogenous economic development program, a suitable solution to local rural development conditions coupled with agricultural restructuring. After nearly 10 years, especially in the accelerated period of 2018-2020, Quang Ninh province presently has 464 OCOP products, of which 236 products are ranked 3-4-star class, twice that of 2017. As many as 180 producers that join in the OCOP Program recorded VND1,500 billion of revenue and VND270 billion of profit in 2020, doubling the figures in 2017. They generated stable incomes for 4,500 workers. This approach has motivated sustainable rural economic development and improved rural people’s livelihoods in Quang Ninh province.

Like Quang Ninh, Ha Tinh province always pays due attention to rural economic development and OCOP products are considered a “breakthrough approach” for successful and sustainable new rural development. Mr. Dang Ngoc Son, Vice Chairman of Ha Tinh Provincial People's Committee, said, in the province's general plan to 2030, with a vision to 2045, Ha Tinh defined agriculture and rural development as remaining the focus of investment towards green and sustainable economic development. To do this, Ha Tinh has cared much about the OCOP Program. Up to now, the province has had more than 300 product ideas, including 152 3-star products and seven 4-star products. Most 3-star or higher-ranked products have higher sales, averaging 40% more than when they were not OCOP-certified. Some products have double or even 4-5 times the revenue. Some are being exported to foreign markets. “This is really an impressive and unexpected performance, even for us who are involved in the OCOP Program,” he added.

Ha Tinh issued consistent program support policies from business planning, production preparation to final trade promotion. The province spent VND20 billion in 2019 and VND40 billion in 2020 for the OCOP Program. It assessed and classified OCOP products strictly, objectively and publicly on social networks. Consumer products must be sealed with a stamp granted by the Provincial OCOP Administration.

Consensus in administration

Mr. Bui Van Khang said, based on what actually happened in the locality, to make OCOP products successful and bring more economic benefits to people, OCOP products must be made from what the public, cooperatives and businesses planned rather than administrative orders. At the same time, the direction of the Party and authorities at all levels must be consistent, regular and continuous. Central objectives and tasks must be defined to engage the entire political system. In particular, it is necessary to uphold the role of leaders of Party and government agencies, strengthen assistant personnel for the OCOP Steering Committee, and upskill OCOP staff. The province also regularly inspects and presses on the implementation of the OCOP Program to have timely solutions for problems and difficulties in the way for stakeholders.

Mr. Dang Ngoc Son suggested that, in the coming period, the program clearly define the role and vision of the OCOP Program and make it a key program for rural economic development, a livelihood for sustainable rural development. It needs to make early transformational changes in OCOP product management and development across the country, turn OCOP products into national brands, and soon complete the regulatory framework for the program. “OCOP product evaluation and classification must be strict, objective and substantive enough. Unserious and easy work may result in disreputation and brand failure of the program,” he noted.

According to the Central Steering Committee for National Target Program for New Rural Development, the One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program currently has 4,469 products (72%) out of a total of 6,210 registered products certified 3-star class or higher. 60.7% of 3-star or higher-ranked OCOP products have average annual revenue growth of 17.6% and their selling price rises 12.2% after being certified. Notably, products sent to the central agency for being certified as a 5-star class (national class) grow 20-40% in revenue.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum