During the February 19-24 study tour, they met with officials from the Embassy of Canada in Hanoi, the Ministry of Planning & Investment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other stakeholders.

The Mozambican delegation works with the Collage of Management for Agriculture and Rural Development 2. (Photo: SOCODEVI)

Vietnam shared with the Mozambican delegation experiences and lessons learned over the years on the path of developing its cooperative economy.

“One of the most valuable lessons on the cooperative development that we want to share with Mozambique is that we should raise awareness of the society and state management agencies about the cooperative roles. Once the people realize the important roles of cooperatives as well as the benefits of joining cooperatives, they will voluntarily join. Only then will the development of the cooperative economy be truly sustainable and effective,” said Phung Quoc Chi, Director of Cooperative Development Department, the Ministry of Planning & Investment.

Led by SOCODEVI - a Canadian NGO funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the Mozambican delegation included representatives of the Canadian High Commission in Mozambique, Mozambican ministries such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action, and representatives of SOCODEVI.

The visit to Vietnam took place in the context that the GAC-funded and SOCODEVI-implemented initiative on cooperative development, namely Vietnam Cooperative Enterprise Development (VCED) has just finished last year. Vietnam’s cooperatives have made significant progress since Canadian experts first came in 2002 to support the cooperative movement in the country under a GAC-funded and SOCODEVI-implemented project named Improved Rural Livelihood project.

“The Government of Canada, through SOCODEVI, has made significant contributions to Vietnam's agricultural industry, especially in areas such as farmer organization, cooperative development, and developing the agri-food sector. These efforts contribute to policy advice, law-making related to cooperative development, and farmer organizations,” said Le Duc Thinh, Director of Department of Economic Cooperation and Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“We hope that the Government of Canada and SOCODEVI will continue to support Vietnam on the way of developing collective economy as well as building farmer organizations, and continuing to share with us the experience of developing cooperative models from countries around the world, especially Canadian models,” he said.

During the week-long business trip, the Mozambican delegation had a meeting with the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, and visited a number of new-model cooperatives such as Rach Lop Cooperative in Tra Vinh province and that were established with Canadian support such as Tan Huong Tea Cooperative in Thai Nguyen province, Ben Tre Green Pomelo Cooperative, Evergreen Ninh Thuan Grape Cooperative.

Especially, to learn from experience on training high-level human resources for cooperatives, the delegation met with the Collage of Management for Agriculture and Rural Development 2 (CMARD2), which is a long-time partner of SOCODEVI in Vietnam and contributed a large part to organizing this study tour.

“Quality human resource is one of the sustainable success factors of cooperatives. Training programs need to be designed in harmony between theory and practice. The training content needs to be tied to the needs and roles of stakeholders such as the Board of Directors, Supervisory Board, or cooperative members,” said Nguyen Trung Dong, Rector of CMARD2.

“We congratulate Vietnam on having strong Government support for the collective economy. It is good to know that the Vietnamese Government has a strategic plan and a budget to ensure the sustainable development of this economic sector,” said Júlia Fernando, Executive Director of Mozambican Association for the Promotion of Modern Cooperativism.

“I think that Mozambique can learn a lot from Vietnam, such as how to immerse all government agencies in the concept of cooperativism, and how to get the whole society involved in cooperative economy development. In that way, we can eradicate poverty, thereby developing sustainable socio-economic development,” he added.

Source: VNA