The OCOP program is a crucial part of Vietnam's general strategy for sustainable agricultural and economic development, both nationwide and particularly in Lam Dong province. Identifying and setting goals for developing OCOP (One Commune One Product) products not only boost the agricultural economy but also significantly contribute to enhancing the income and livelihoods of farmers".
In line with Decision No. 2301/QD-UBND dated November 12, 2018, issued by the People's Committee of Lam Dong province, regarding the approval of the implementation plan for the OCOP program within the province from 2018 to 2020, the OCOP program has garnered substantial attention and response from local authorities, business communities, and residents of Lam Dong province over the past years.
- Driving local socioeconomic development: Lam Dong province promptly introduced practical mechanisms and policies to effectively implement the OCOP program, leading to tangible results. Certified products have continuously improved in terms of design and quality, thereby increasing the income for businesses and households. The OCOP program significantly contributes to the socioeconomic development of the locality.
- Exploiting the economic value of diversified and multifunctional agriculture: The province's OCOP products have rapidly grown in both quantity and quality, with 214 products ranking 12th out of 63 provinces nationwide. Numerous agricultural production models combining unique OCOP products with agrotourism have attracted a considerable number of tourists. This optimization taps into the economic potential of diversified, multifunctional agriculture beyond traditional farming.
- Contributing to preserving and promoting traditional cultural values: Through harmoniously integrating OCOP products with the cultural identity of local ethnic groups, such as specialty liquors, cuisine, household items, medicinal herbs, jewelry, and handicrafts, the program enhances the preservation and expression of traditional heritage.
- Enhancing opportunities for local agricultural exports: While obtaining OCOP certification is challenging, protecting and expanding the market becomes even more demanding. Therefore, in recent times, stakeholders have gradually embraced e-commerce, contributing to aligning the agricultural sector with digital transformation requirements in the economy. This diversifies the methods of consuming agricultural products. Many local e-commerce platforms have been established, offering opportunities for businesses to showcase their products and rapidly connect with consumers. Through these e-commerce activities, Lam Dong's agricultural products are widely and swiftly promoted to consumers. Notably, several e-commerce platforms, such as Shopee, Lazada, Propii, and TikTok, have included Lam Dong's agricultural products in their offerings.
- Rapid growth in the number of products: While the number of OCOP-certified products has increased, some of these products haven't yielded clear results compared to similar products in the market. Despite having more agricultural sub-regions than many provinces in the North (such as Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Ha Giang, Bac Kan), Lam Dong still has fewer OCOP products in reality.
- Quality standard inconsistency: Ensuring uniform and high-quality standards for participating products remains a significant challenge for Lam Dong's OCOP program. This leads to varying product qualities, posing difficulties in market access and product competitiveness.
- Small-scale production: Both local businesses and residents in Lam Dong face the common challenge of small-scale production. Limited production scales and marketing efforts result in producing small quantities of products, mainly catering to local demand. This restricts the ability to access larger markets and compete on a national and international scale.
- Marketing and promotion difficulties: The Lam Dong OCOP program encounters obstacles in promoting and marketing its products. Establishing a brand image and effectively promoting OCOP products to consumers has not been efficiently executed. Digital development remains sluggish, with low consumption rates for agricultural products in general and OCOP products in particular through this channel. Consequently, consumer demand and accessibility for Lam Dong's OCOP products remain limited. This decreases the product consumption potential and places participating businesses in a challenging position for market expansion.
As analyzed above, there have been achievements in OCOP product development in Lam Dong province. However, facing new requirements, intense global agricultural value chain competition, international integration, and global climate changes, to achieve better results and continue promoting sustainable development of the OCOP program for maximum community benefits in the future, a holistic approach is needed. This should encompass structural improvements, production organization enhancements, quality product advancement, innovative renewal, efficient marketing strategies, and sustainable development strategies aligned with the potential of the program.
Need for Coordinated Solutions
- Anticipate New Program Requirements: Given the new requirements that have a substantial impact on the OCOP program, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, increasing global migration, escalating global food security concerns leading to heightened famine, and the complexity of global climate change, a scientific forecasting approach is necessary. This long-term orientation will facilitate sustainable program development, taking into account global and national trends.
- Enhance Product Quality: The success of the OCOP program hinges on the quality of its products. Focusing on elevating product quality while adhering to standards, technical regulations, food safety, and environmental protection is essential. Leading the way with OCOP products in an eco-friendly, circular economy, and ecologically conscious direction is crucial.
- Build Branding and Product Promotion: Continuously promoting and building a unique and reputable brand for Lam Dong's OCOP products will increase their commercial value and attract consumer interest. This involves creating a distinctive brand identity that resonates in the market.
- Support Youth and Encourage Innovative Renewal: Relevant agencies should create favorable conditions and support businesses, producers, and communities in developing OCOP products. Encouraging and assisting the younger generation in participating in OCOP product production and business processes will drive innovation and sustainable development within the program.
- Establish a Trading and Distribution System: Authorities should review local OCOP product supply and demand to establish an effective trading and distribution system. This encompasses linking OCOP products with supermarket chains, traditional markets, and even exporting to international markets. A robust digital transformation in production and e-commerce must be emphasized to enhance product consumption and access broader markets.
OCOP products are a significant sector in Lam Dong province's economy. In the coming period, government departments, local authorities, and business communities should seriously study and implement Decision No. 1765/QD-UBND dated September 30, 2022, approving the plan for the One Commune One Product program in Lam Dong province for the 2022-2025 period. All parties involved should collaborate to develop high-quality, distinctive, and competitive OCOP products. With concerted efforts and a coordinated approach, Lam Dong's OCOP program will increasingly contribute positively to the sustainable development of both the nation and the locality. We believe that Lam Dong's OCOP products in the future will see increased quantity, improved quality, and expanded consumer markets.
(*) Pham S - Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Lam Dong Province