The One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program promises important leverage to boost investment in agricultural production linked to processing, connecting consumer markets along value chains, developing the economy and raising income for Thai Nguyen people.
Being famous to domestic and foreign tourists far and wide, Tan Cuong tea is a traditional product of local people. The tea has a strong and durable aroma and slightly harsh taste, which is very attractive. In addition to the endowment of natural conditions, the quality of Tan Cuong tea is also created from growing, caring, processing and preserving practices.
Like Tan Cuong tea, Dong Hy tea (Minh Lap commune, Dong Hy district) is also a key local product. This is also one of three strong agricultural products: Dong Hy tea, Phuc Thanh honey and Viet Cuong vermicelli, selected and upgraded by Thai Nguyen province from 2019 to 2025 to add to the OCOP program. Made according to VietGAP standards, the selling price is VND250,000-300,000 per kilogram, 4-5 times higher than that of traditionally grown tea. Farmers can earn VND300 million a year on a hectare of tea.
Currently, Thai Nguyen province has 19,000 ha of tea in nine districts and towns and plucks nearly 200,000 tons of fresh tea buds a year. Thai Nguyen tea is consumed in both domestic and foreign markets, of which the domestic market accounts for 70-80%; only about 20-30% of processed tea is for export.
To bring its tea to more foreign markets, Thai Nguyen province has issued a decision to register for a collective trademark of Thai Nguyen Tea in China, the United States and Taiwan - the key markets for Thai Nguyen tea in the coming years.
In addition to the famous tea brand, Thai Nguyen province is known to many people for Thau Dau sticky rice (Phu Binh district). The rice grain is big round, beautifully white. When it is cooked, the fragrant rice is very delicious, hardly tasted elsewhere. The product was recognized as a collective brand of Phu Binh Thau Dau sticky rice by the National Office of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2012.
In 2016, the People's Committee of Cam Gia Ward received the collective brand of Cam Gia cherry blossom. Cherry blossom growing was started in Cam Gia more than 20 years ago. Currently, 227 households are growing nearly 45,000 cherry trees on a total area of more than 8.5 hectares. Cam Gia Ward planned to increase the acreage to 15 ha by 2020 and effectively manage, use and develop the collective brand of Cam Gia Cherry Blossom.
Thai Nguyen currently has nearly 200 products qualified to become OCOP products, categorized in food and beverage, herbal medicine, souvenir - decoration - interior, and travel services. At present, some cooperatives and producers have registered agricultural products for being OCOP products of the province, including Tan Cuong tea (Thai Nguyen City), Viet Cuong vermicelli (Dong Hy district), Hung Son and Binh Thuan organic vegetables (Dai Tu district), Uc Ky sticky rice sauce (Phu Binh district), and Bao Thai Dinh Hoa rice (Dinh Hoa district).
Uplifting local specialties
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development piloted the OCOP model in some localities in 2008. On May 7, 2018, the Prime Minister issued Decision 490/QD-TTg approving the National OCOP Program for the 2018-2020 period. By March 2019, 40 out of 63 provinces and cities carried out actions and plans to implement the OCOP Program.
With many strong potential agricultural products, the deployment of OCOP program is key to increase incomes for farmers, increase product value and protect the environment. On September 12, 2018, Thai Nguyen province issued Plan 108/KH-UBND to carry out the OCOP Program in 2018-2020 and further to 2025. Recently, Thai Nguyen province is taking steps to complete the OCOP Project to submit to competent authorities for approval.
Under the Project, Thai Nguyen province is fostering communications and guidance on OCOP, receiving registration for product ideas, plans and business projects, developing OCOP products, building management, monitoring and evaluation systems, building product brands, supporting OCOP product introduction, marketing and trade promotion, building OCOP product showrooms and sales points, forming the infrastructure system for introducing and selling OCOP products in tourist areas, residential areas, supermarkets, traditional markets, and provincial and district administrative centers.
Thai Nguyen province will spend more than VND700 billion for OCOP Project in 2019 - 2025, of which over VND70 billion will come from the provincial budget, VND60 billion from the district and commune budget, VND240 billion from integrated funding support programs, and VND240 billion from social sources.
Mr. Tran Nho Huong, Director of Thai Nguyen New Rural Development Office, said that OCOP significantly helps improve the quality, effect and success of the National Target Program on New Rural Development, tap local potential strengths and advantages, develop standard products, enhance competitiveness, and meet market demand amid international integration. The program has positively shaped production practices, directed people toward the market economy, and promoted production development in rural areas.
By Thanh Nga, Vietnam Business Forum