CECAD staff visit successful cooperative models in Hanoi
The Centre of Environment and Community Assets Development (CECAD) aims to support Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi villagers in establishing cooperatives for producing and selling clean farming products through the project “Community-based Organisations in Natural Resource Management in Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi Communes, Tan Lac District, Hoa Binh Province.” In order to understand more about the organisation, production and consumption processes of a cooperative, CECAD have visited successful ones in Hanoi. The aim was to find a model that could work in Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi Villages. Once found CECAD could organize a tour for farmers to show how to set up and manage their own cooperatives.
Three cooperatives were selected, namely Dao Duc Cooperative, Van Duc Cooperative and Linh Nam Agriculture and Services Cooperative. CECAD staff members were able to visit each of the cooperative’s vegetable fields, preliminary treatment and packaging areas. They were all successful in producing and selling safe vegetables and these models could be implemented in Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi villages.
The Management Boards of each cooperative shared their experiences about establishing a cooperative, the amount of assistance they received from the government and difficulties in producing and selling their goods. Managers have to be flexible as vegetables can have high costs due to losses in transportation and being easily spoilt. Managers also have to deal with more competitors entering the market in and around Hanoi.
The villagers who want to participate in the cooperatives in Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi have the opportunity to visit similar cooperatives. The managers welcome other farmers and are happy to share their experiences, models and the advantages/disadvantages of being part of a cooperative. The hope for these study tours is that farmers from Tu Ne and Thanh Hoi obtain knowledge, which can lead to establishing their own cooperative suitable to their local conditions. This will ultimately help them to connect with the wider market, thus improving their income and livelihoods.