Quang Tho II Agricultural Cooperative (QTCO) in Vietnam is a multi-sectors services/business cooperative. The main production and business activities of the cooperative include the provision of services for agricultural production for 4 villages:
i) Irrigation service;
ii) Land preparation services;
iii) Plant protection services;
iv) Production management and execution services;
v) Intra-field toll collection service;
The services of QTCO are similar to other traditional agricultural cooperatives in Vietnam.
Currently the cooperative has grown 42.5 ha centella (a herbaceous, perennial plant) with an average yield of 48 ton/year. 200 households are participating in centella cultivation. After purchasing centella from the famers at 25%, the cooperative will do the sorting, cleaning and processing. Average they sell 1 ton of fresh centella per day and 500 dried kg per year.
In 2020 the cooperative invested in a centella processing machine. This has created a new product that provides the consumers with convenient and healthy drinks, and increased sales up to 30%.
Youth plays an important role and can take up management roles to ensure sustainability of agricultural cooperatives. However, in Vietnam, the youth often migrate to urban areas. It is therefore necessary to create youth councils in cooperatives to engage them in activities and train and encourage them to engage in the cooperative's work.
In September 2020 Agriterra invited QTCO leaders to participate in a youth kick-off workshop conducted by the Ducth Agripooler Leendert Jan Onnes from NAJK (a national committee to defend the interests of Dutch young farmers) as well as Agriterra’s local business advisors.
Online advisory given by Agriterra local business advisors to QTCO to create the youth council
The goal of this training was to promote youth participation in cooperatives, for which the local business advisors supported the participants to prepare an action plan to foster youth involvement in the cooperative and motivated the leaders to establish a youth council.
After the training the business advisors continued to support QTCO to establish a youth council to promote young farmers’ engagement in the cooperative. This in line with the action plan developed during the previous workshop by coaching and advising members of the board and 12 young farmers.
As a result, a youth council was established in July 2021, becoming recognised and operating within QTCO´s internal laws. The structure of the youth council was also formed, consisting of 12 young farmers divided in 3 sub-groups in charge of:
(1) production, business and product promotion;
(2) irrigation services; and
(3) centella organic production.
They drafted a specific action plan for each sub-group which defines their roles and responsibilities.
Young farmer presentation during the youth workshop