Quang Nam’s mountain districts promote OCOP strength
A Lang Nhet’s family in Ch’om commune grows one hectare of a medicinal herb called acanthopanax. Nhet says he used to sell the herb to other villagers for medicinal wine. Since he joined the Ch’om Agricultural Cooperative, all his acanthopanax has been purchased by the cooperative at a much higher price. Now he earns 2,600 USD per crop.
Nhet says the cooperative has taught local people how to cultivate the plants and relieves them of worry about finding a market for what they grow. Recent changes in the commune’s prosperity are all thanks to acanthopanax.
He adds, “All cooperative members agree that following the recommended growing techniques has boosted productivity and incomes. Our living standard has really improved.”
Acanthopanax can be found in A Xan, Tr’Hy, Gari, and Ch’Om commune in Tay Giang district, but it grows sporadically, which is not conducive to intensive farming or large-volume output. Under the OCOP program till this year, Tay Giang has chosen to build a brand around acanthopanax, with acanthopanax wine, acanthopanax tea, and acanthopanax glue.
A Lang Lo, head of Achoong hamlet in Ch’Om, is a role model for growing acanthopanax to escape poverty. He expanded his family’s acanthopanax production and then mobilized others in the hamlet to work together and establish the Ch’Om agriculture cooperative. Now a kilo of fresh acanthopanax sells for around 10 USD.
In one year, the Ch’Om agriculture cooperative has earned 8,700 USD from selling acanthopanax.
A Lang Lo says, “The cooperative only has 32 households from this hamlet. We plan to link up with villagers in other hamlets like Cha Noc and create a stable income for them. Any households who want to join the cooperative are welcome. The cooperative is planning to buy some industrial dryers.”
Bhling Mia, Chairman of the Tay Giang district People’s Committee, said that the OCOP program has motivated communes to achieve economic growth and reduce local poverty by focusing on their strongest product.
Tay Giang is now focusing on two medicinal plants: radix morindae officinalis and acanthopanax, says Bhling Mia, adding, “The district plans to establish a local OCOP center to introduce 5 products. The district will create mechanisms to support each product, invest in infrastructure, build roads connecting the growing areas, and manage everything through value chains.”
Under the OCOP program, Quang Nam has more than 80 products which have been recognized and given ratings of 3 or 4 stars.
Tay Giang district alone has 5 products including acanthopanax glue and acanthopanax herbal tea bags.
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