Cooperatives in Kon Tum weather COVID-19 impacts

(VOVWORLD) - Kon Tum province has 187 cooperatives with over 9,600 members. Solidarity and creativity are enabling the cooperatives to overcome the difficulties of the COVID-19 epidemic and prepare for a new development stage once the epidemic is under control.
Cooperatives in Kon Tum weather COVID-19 impacts - ảnh 1Pham Thi Huyen Anh (in black suit) is introducing the coffee roasting machine which the Po Ko Fair Agricultural Cooperative has invested to develop its new product. 

The Po Ko Fair Agricultural Cooperative in Dak Ha town, Kon Tum province, has 113 members and 172 hectares of coffee providing high quality raw materials for exports.

When the COVID-19 epidemic broke out, the cooperative began to suffer backlogged orders, hikes in shipping costs, and a shortage of packing containers.

To maintain production, the cooperative encouraged its members to grow new products such as beans, peas, and sesame. Combining coffee with other crops helped the cooperative develop two new products - filter coffee powder made with ripe fruit, and brown rice tea - for the domestic retail market.

As a result, the cooperative earned nearly 800,000 USD last year, said  Pham Thi Huyen Anh, Chairwoman of the Po Ko Fair Agricultural Cooperative. She said the cooperative’s solidarity and innovation played an important role.

She told VOV, “In the past, we only did export and wholesales. Now we’re thinking about a sales plan for the domestic market. We’ll work with local organizations and distributors to establish an online sales system. That will save us the expense of leasing premises and expand the cooperative’s image and qualified products across the country.”

Cooperatives in Kon Tum weather COVID-19 impacts - ảnh 2The macadamia garden of Nhan Hoa Macadamia Cooperative 

Although the pandemic has slowed the market and caused prices to drop, the 9-member Nhan Hoa Macadamia Cooperative in hamlet 3, Dak To district keeps expanding its growing areas and has put into operation a production line for shelling, drying and preserving products.

Nguyen Van Quyet, the cooperative’s Chairman and Director, said, “During the coronavirus epidemic, cooperative members have worked closely together. Growing macadamia trees, new to Kon Tum, will require more study but it would be difficult for just one individual to do the research. Solidarity will help all the cooperative members improve their living.”

Statistics from Kon Tum province’s Cooperative Alliance show that 80% of local cooperatives have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, but most of them are ready for the next development phase after the disease is under control.

According to Nguyen Lam Canh, Chairman of the Alliance, the solidarity of cooperative members and the dynamism of the cooperatives’ management boards are the key.

Canh said that to support the adaptation and maintenance of operations of its member cooperatives, the Alliance will continue to serve as a coordinator.

“The provincial Cooperative Alliance has increased consultancy and fine-tuned the apparatus of the steering committees for collective economic development at all levels to ensure coordination among sectors in implementing policies on the collective economy and fully tapping the role of members in developing a collective and cooperative economy,” Canh said.