Tien Phong Muong Vi in Muong Vi commune, Bat Xat district, Lao Cai Province, established on 17/01/2014 is an agricultural cooperative. Its 14 (households) members business activities include: growing rice, planting spice and medicinal plants; processing and preserving vegetables and fruits; production of pharmaceutical chemicals and pharmaceutical materials; post-harvest service activities.

Disadvantages and difficulties of nature and socio-economic situation: Bat Xat is a highland border district located in the northwest of Lao Cai province, with a natural area of nearly 1,062 km², where mountains occupy more than 70% of area. The population of the district is nearly 76 thousand, comprising of 14 ethnic groups. Bat Xat is located in climate region of tropical, hot, and humid rain. The terrain of Bat Xat is divided into two different climatic zones: the upland area of 80,763 ha, accounting for 77% of the total land area; the height of the area is from 400m to 3096m, the slope is over 250; The highland upland areas with strongly divided sloping, cause bad impacts on agricultural production and infrastructure investment. The lowland area covers 24,258 ha, accounting for 23% of the district’s area, with the average height of 400m to 500m. The topography of this area consists of low hills of wavy form and relatively flat part running along the Red River. Most of the lowland land lies on the apatite bed so fertile soil is favourable for agro-forestry development.

Difficulties of cooperatives and members: limited access to market and have no chance to link with potential market to sell the goods with a high price. Besides, due to the unstable of the market so that the agricultural product’s price also changed unpredictably which are influenced to members’ income. Production capacity is limited, including safe production techniques (safety standards, VietGAP for example), sustainable production processes and technologies including climate change adaptation and health safety, especially the capacity of women’s cooperative members. Lack of relevant measure to link agriculture, natural resource management and nutrition at all level from community to local policy levels; women voice and their traditional/indigenous foods for children are not recognized and promoted; poor access to nutrition food and services. Last but not least, the human resources of cooperatives are limited on capacity because many members were not well trained so that they were not suitable with the requirement from the job and market.

However, after more than 4 years that the cooperative has been operating, the greatest success that we did that we has been building a value chain link from production to market, creating a stable and stable livelihood environment for all the members and partners. Specifically, we successfully combined production and consumption of products with more than 60 households from rice cultivation and beekeeping to product consumption links with 30 enterprises, organizations and agents in big cities across the country selling products. Thereby indirectly creating over 300 jobs from production to the market, of which up to 85% are people from highland areas engaged in agricultural production.

Besides, we also successfully developed the brand of safe agricultural products of the cooperative participating in the OCOP programme (one commune one product). Currently, we has 02 OCOP products which are Seng Cu rice reaching 4-star standard at the provincial level. The cooperative will strive to build 2 to 3 more products that meet OCOP and provincial product criteria in next year.