OCOP Program Promotes Rural Economic Development

10:05:40 AM | 11/4/2022

The One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program has introduced strong and positive impacts on rural economic development. It has helped awaken land potential, products, comparative advantages, especially regional cultural values ​​to form "multi-valued" OCOP products. Many OCOP products are likened to "ambassadors" conveying local humanistic product stories. The (OCOP) Program has fostered livelihood development in disadvantaged areas and groups such as ethnic minorities and women.

The results of the OCOP Program are based on Decision 919/QD-TTg dated August 1, 2022 and Decision 922/QD-TTg dated August 2, 2022 of the Prime Minister on ratification of the OCOP Program and the Rural Tourism Development Program in new rural construction in 2021-2025.

Carrying sharp local/regional values

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the OCOP Program in 2021-2025 will be implemented flexibly and appropriately in the direction that OCOP product value chains are developed together with local raw material regions. Accordingly, the program focuses on developing specialties and traditional products, promoting cultural values, and forming multi-valued products carrying local advantages and cultural values, especially traditional handicraft products and rural tourism services. It also steps up the development of products processed from local inputs, cultures and indigenous knowledge.

In the coming period, training will be promoted, with a focus on production skills; administration; product innovation and creativity; quality management and food safety; packaging design, labeling and product design skills; intellectual property, traceability along the value chain; marketing and market development. Particularly, the focus will be placed on reforming training methods and guidance for product development based on local resources. Quality management of OCOP products will be intensified. Product supervision and inspection will be enhanced after being assessed and classified, especially food quality and safety. Upon expiration of accreditation, products will be reviewed, checked, evaluated and classified in order to raise awareness and responsibility of owners toward consumers.

Mr. Ngo Truong Son, Chief of Office of the Central Coordination Office for Rural Development, said, after more than four years of implementation, the OCOP Program has been influentially, consistently and effectively carried out by localities. At present, the country has 8,478 OCOP products assigned 3-star class or higher, of which 65.4% are 3-star, 33.4% are 4-star, 1% are likely 5-star and 0.2% are 5-star. “The country has more than 4,351 OCOP producers of 3-star class or higher, of which 38.3% are cooperatives, 26.1% are enterprises, 33.3% are household producers, and the rest are working teams. Through the program, many localities have actively developed rural tourism products, services and destinations. Currently, 65 OCOP products are recognized as community-based tourism services and tourist attractions,” he added.

Substantial contribution to rural development

Speaking at the conference on OCOP Program and the Rural Tourism Development Program in 2021-2025, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said, the OCOP Program and the Rural Tourism Development Program aim to create economic development space for rural areas and farmers and make new rural areas more effective and practical. “By the end of this phase, it is not a matter of how many new rural communes or advanced new rural communes or exemplary new rural communes we will have, but what makes us proud is how many rural heritages have been formed, preserved, developed and recommended to visitors,” he emphasized.

Referring to the ways Japanese people do agriculture, Minister Hoan said, “In fact, it is not too much to say that this is a revolution of new rural development because when Japanese people grew organic vegetables, they also said that was a revolution. Furthermore, we are building a new countryside - a place to live and a place to return to. If cities are places for comparing the degree of civilization of one nation with another, then the countryside is the place for them to compare national identity with each other. The value of new rural construction is not limited to what we have done but also includes many cultural and historical values ​​of the country.

According to Minister Le Minh Hoan, OCOP products and rural tourism still have much room for development. Localities need to change their thinking, invest more in building featured products to make a difference in order to enhance product value; invest in rural physical foundations, infrastructure structures and social institutions; develop agricultural and rural economic space; and develop markets for OCOP products, agricultural and rural tourism services.

He also noted that programs should be flexibly and suitably carried out for each locality by unlocking potential advantages to develop agriculture, handicraft villages, culture and ecological environment. These will help improve the material and spiritual life of rural people; foster economic restructuring; and sustain agricultural and rural development.

Bao Dan (Vietnam Business Forum)