ĐỒNG THÁP — Đồng Tháp Province should further expand economic models associated with agriculture and tourism to increase incomes for farmers, said President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Tuesday.
During a working visit to the Mekong Delta Province, President Phúc visited a number of co-operative economic models and co-operatives operating in agriculture in Sa Đéc City and Tháp Mười District.
The President visited a tourism club in Sa Đéc City’s Sa Đéc Flower Village which is a co-operative economic model of households working together to develop ornamental plants in combination with tourism.
Trần Thanh Hùng, the club’s chairman, said before 2015, many households growing ornamental plants in the 100-year-old village were small and lacked links with others so economic efficiency was very low.
Since 2015, many households co-operated with each other to form a tourism club. So far it had attracted 27 members involved in travel, hotels, accommodation and homestay services, said Hùng.
With 12 tourist attractions worth hundreds of billions of đồng, every year the club attracts more than one million visitors to Sa Đéc Flower Village earning four to five times more profit than traditional floriculture.
Hùng said: “With the awareness of “if you want to go far, go together’, the club members switched from a production mindset to an agricultural economy in combination with services.”
The members contributed capital to establish a joint enterprise named Đồng Tháp Tourism Development and Investment Together Co., Ltd., operating under three criteria: building together, managing together and benefiting together.
The club also aims to build a close connection between members and the local people in the community, create more jobs, increase income and improve the quality of the products and services, helping promote the village’s image to international friends.
According to the provincial authority, the province has 120 clubs and more than 200 co-operatives operating in different fields.
Farmers are very willing and confident to join clubs, which is an important premise for the formation of co-operatives. Up to now, many clubs have developed into co-operatives and businesses which are performing effectively.
President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc highly appreciated the co-operative economic models in the field of agriculture and agricultural development associated with tourism which are bringing high economic efficiency.
From a model of growing ornamental flowers and plants with a long history of development, Đồng Tháp had upgraded and associated with the development of tourism products and services. The increase in people’s incomes was of great significance, he said.
From this model, it was possible to review and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the establishment of clubs and their replication, as well as to consider whether it is necessary to develop from a club into a co-operative or to continue maintaining this model.
“We welcomed the upgrade to the co-operative, but we did not force it. If the club is beneficial, let people maintain it,” he suggested.
At present, the club members were still few, so it was necessary to attract more members in order to mobilise more capital, science and technology to increase competitiveness, the President suggested.
The President asked Đồng Tháp Province and Sa Đéc City to organise a flower festival associated with tourism and service promotion based on the spirit of co-operation and mutual benefit.
Besides, the province and city also needed to continue to develop infrastructure to become tourist centres in the future.
In the morning, the President also visited the Mỹ Đông Agricultural Service Co-operative 2 in Tháp Mười District.
Established in 2013 with 108 members, the co-operative engages in irrigation services, dredging canals and rice farming, earning profit of VNĐ300 million (US$13,000) per year and creating many jobs for farmers.
Phúc highly appreciated the cooperative’s effective operation by applying science and technology in production helping save costs, protect the environment and optimise production.
The co-operative had performed well in both input and output services, promoting linkages with businesses to produce rice meeting export standards.
This was the basis to increase incomes for farmers and help co-operative members feel secure.
The President said that this was also an effective model that the district and Đồng Tháp Province needed to replicate to improve the lives of farmers.
Earlier yesterday morning, the President offered incense and flowers at the relic site of Nguyễn Sinh Sắc – the father of President Hồ Chí Minh – in Cao Lãnh City. — VNS