Young officials to join agricultural cooperatives

15:58 | 10/05/2018 Economy- Society

(VEN) - A pilot project will be implemented to send young officials to work at agricultural cooperatives in accordance with a decision by the Ministry of Finance on financial support for improving the human resources of cooperatives, establishing new cooperatives and reorganizing existing ones under a cooperative development program for in the 2015-2020 period.

young officials to join agricultural cooperatives

Only 38 percent effective

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development, by the end of 2017, Vietnam had 11,668 agricultural cooperative with 4.1 million members. However, only 38 percent of these cooperatives have shown effective operations, with the remainder being inefficient.

Data from the department show that from July 1, 2013 to the end of 2017, 2,366 cooperatives were dissolved or merged. In addition, 795 cooperatives (accounting for 6.8 percent of the total) have stopped operations but have yet to be dissolved. These cooperatives are based in 35 localities and concentrated in Hanoi, Hai Phong and Vinh Phuc.

Moreover, cooperatives are still confused when dealing with assets, especially indivisible assets, including assets procured with the support of the state and different organizations, and assets accumulated by cooperatives. The treatment of debts, including taxes, charges and fees that must be paid to the state, debts related to loans provided by credit institutions, debts owed by cooperatives to their members, as well as debts that cooperatives have to collect from their members and other individuals and organizations, also faces difficulties.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said the development of agricultural cooperatives has not yielded the desired results. Limited management and technical skills of cooperative officials are one of the reasons. Most cooperative officials lack flexibility. Technical consultancy and guidance for cooperative members are also lacking, leading to low efficiency of cooperative operations.

Improving human resources

On the other hand, many cooperatives with qualified managers and skilled technical staff are operating effectively. Examples include the Muong Dong Cooperative in Hoa Binh Province, Van Hoi Canh Safe Vegetable Cooperative in Vinh Phuc Province, Xuyen Viet Aquatic Products Cooperative in Hai Duong Province, Binh Dinh Agricultural Service Cooperative in Thai Binh Province, and Cong Bang Eakiet Coffee Cooperative in Dak Lak Province.

Evergrowth, a dairy farming cooperative, is another example of success. The cooperative has a team of more than 20 university graduates in specialized fields, such as veterinary care, animal husbandry, cultivation and economic management, providing technical consultancy for cattle farmers. The cooperative’s director is a postgraduate degree holder who has been trained in two specialized fields: animal husbandry and economic management. The accounting work at Evergrowth is computerized, based on international programs.

Improving the qualifications of cooperative officials is crucial. The Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development has proposed a pilot project to send young officials who have graduated from universities or colleges to work at agricultural cooperatives under fixed-term contracts. This year, each cooperative will be provided with one technical official or one accountant. Cooperatives eligible for this support are those operating in accordance with the 2012 Law on Cooperatives and being involved in agricultural production and sale linkages. They have to show specific production and sales plans and be committed to effectively using their human resources.

Dr. Le Duc Thinh, Deputy Director of the department, said the management skills and technical qualifications of cooperative officials are the most important factor to the development of agricultural cooperatives.

Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam believes young and qualified officials will bring new technologies and modern knowledge helping enhance the efficiency of cooperatives. “Before they start working, young officials will be provided with clear information about cooperatives and their demands. Under the pilot project, each province will select five cooperatives to receive the support. The results of the pilot project will be reviewed later this year so that this model can be popularized from 2019,” he said.

Suitable technical officials and accountants will be selected to assist cooperatives in management and application of new technologies in production and sales.

Nguyen Hanh