Localities boost digital transformation to promote OCOP products

Strengthening the application of digital transformation and promoting the circular economy is the goal set by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the one commune one product (OCOP) programme in the 2021 – 2025 period. However, to make the programme pay off, more efforts are required to improve the quality and the technology involved in the production of OCOP products.

Vermicelli products packed at the factory of Tai Hoan Cooperative in Bac Kan province. (Photo: VAN SINH)
Vermicelli products packed at the factory of Tai Hoan Cooperative in Bac Kan province. (Photo: VAN SINH)

Although it has only been implemented for three years, the OCOP programme has brought about many benefits for the people. OCOP products that meet the set standards will easily reach consumers, supermarket chains, as well as export to foreign countries.

The northern province of Bac Kan began the implementation of the OCOP programme quite late, but has obtained successes from the application of digital transformation in promoting OCOP products.

Currently, the province has hundreds of products listed for sale on electronic trading platforms such as Shopee, Lazada, Sendo, Tiki, Voso and others. In addition, Bac Kan vermicelli produced by Tai Hoan Cooperative has also been exported to the Czech Republic, contributing to raising incomes for stakeholders.

According to a survey on 30 typical participants in the OCOP programme in Bac Kan province conducted by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the application of digital transformation has increased the revenue of 73% of the participants by 1.1 to 1.5 times.

According to leaders of Bac Kan province, the province has officially approved a project on “Restructuring the province’s agricultural sector towards increasing added value and sustainable development in the 2020 – 2025 period, with a vision to 2035”. The project attaches great importance to the application of digital transformation, considering it an opportunity for the province to break the barriers of space, geographical limitations and qualification to develop harmoniously and sustainably, contributing to reducing poverty and raising incomes for local people.

Digital transformation in promoting OCOP products has also been fostered by Lam Dong province to create an important premise for participants to improve the quality of OCOP products and avoid the situation of “bumper harvests causing falling prices”.

Lam Dong province currently has over 60.2 ha out of 300,000 ha of arable land applying high technology to agricultural production, helping raise the annual production value of its farming area 2.16 times.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, out of seven groups of solutions to develop raw material areas for OCOP products, the province will focus on supporting participants to achieve national and international certifications for their OCOP products such as VietGAP, GlobalGAP, and HACCP standards. In addition, the province will expand and apply management systems and tools to improve quality and productivity such as ISO 9001-2008, ISO 22000, and ISO 14001 while supporting the activities of intellectual property and geographical indication.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam, the OCOP programme should be promoted toward a circular economy in rural areas following six contents including sustainable resource management and biodiversity conservation, building a sustainable food development programme, improving the processing capacity of small and medium enterprises, ensuring the implementation of organic agriculture development programme, conservation and the development of rural industries associated with raw material areas, and community tourism development.

In addition, it is necessary to build an innovation centre in each locality from non-budget sources to serve in the promotion of the OCOP programme. These are considered important orientations for localities to implement digital transformation in order to support OCOP development.

Deputy Head of the Hanoi Office for New-Style Rural Development Programme Coordination Nguyen Van Chi said that Hanoi will focus on building a centre for the creative design and promotion of OCOP products associated with eco-tourism in the 2021-2025 period. Specifically, each district will build at least one centre for creative design and the promotion of OCOP products and craft villages while the Centre for Conservation of Pottery in Bat Trang Commune, Gia Lam District will be upgraded to a centre for the conservation and development of Vietnam's national pottery products.

Along with the efforts of localities, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been proactive in building a network of OCOP consultants with the participation of 24 consultant teams from institutes, schools, and centers, contributing to the effective implementation of OCOP programmes in many localities.

Investment in technical infrastructure and digital transformation is considered a ramp for OCOP products in the next five years, contributing to raising people's incomes, preserving cultural value, protecting rural landscapes and environment, and building sustainable new-style rural areas.