When the yellow camellia blooms: Program enhances local specialties

10:20 | 03/02/2020 Society

(VEN) - The “One Commune One Product” (OCOP) program is an innovative concept helping to enhance Vietnamese agricultural products by developing internal resources and sustainable value chains. It is also seen as a good platform to develop brands of local specialties.

program enhances local specialties

Previously, yellow camellia trees grew wildly in the forest, and their flowers, leaves and stems were collected and sold to Chinese traders in raw form, resulting in unstable and unsustainable profit. However, under the OCOP program, Ba Che District in Quang Ninh Province identified the yellow camellia trees as a potential OCOP product that could be harnessed for intensive farming and processing. So far, the district has planned a 500ha cultivation area for the tree.

Similarly, under the program the famed Tien Yen chicken specialty of Quang Ninh Province has gradually restored output and product quality to meet VietGap standards after a slowdown period. As of late 2018, the output of Tien Yen chicken meat had reached 424 tonnes and sold at VND150-250,000 a kilogram with total revenue of more than VND84 billion.

Quang Ninh Province is a pioneer in the OCOP program. Le Hong Giang, Deputy Director of the provincial Industry and Trade Department said that the number of localities and products joining the program increased from 40 participants and 48 products in 2013 to 164 participants and 412 products in September 2019. These specialties are often sold as tourist souvenirs and used for trade promotion in the province and also for exports. The OCOP program has been effective in developing production, creating jobs, and increasing incomes for local workers.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of the Bac Kan Department of Industry and Trade Dinh Lam Sang said recently that his province was also focusing on trade promotion of local OCOP products. The department has supported improved product packaging designs and application of traceability. As a result, patterns and packages have changed significantly, providing sufficient information, eye-catching colors, and consumer convenience. Bac Kan has also established points of sale to introduce and sell OCOP products.

According to a report by the steering office of the new-style rural area building program, after more than a year, the OCOP program has contributed to encouraging cooperatives and enterprises to produce typical local items. Many high quality program products have been sold in foreign supermarket chains and distribution channels, increasing the value of agricultural production and promoting local Vietnamese specialties and brands. The total number of standard OCOP products expected by 2020 will exceed 3,800. Currently, 12 provinces have evaluated, classified and recognized 604 OCOP products, including nine five-star products, and five proposed five-star products.

The director of the Dong Que chain store Vu Hoa said each local specialty should bear its own story that makes it unique compared to other similar products, and will stimulate customer interest. He also recommended that localities and enterprises pay more attention to packaging designs.

Together with local efforts, the Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to boost trade promotion activities to stimulate consumption of OCOP products. The ministry will also support setting up OCOP points of sale, and enhance dissemination of OCOP information and brand development to promote consumption for farmers.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung: The OCOP Program has been implemented in most localities across the country, creating thousands of diverse products and reflecting the unlimited creativity of the rural Vietnamese, as proven by the strong development of the program.

Nguyen Hanh