(VOVworld) – 50 years ago, Dai Phong cooperative in Phong Thuy commune, Quang Binh province was famous for being a leading model cooperative in the north. The cooperative twice received President Ho Chi Minh’s letters of congratulation. At present, the cooperative remains a vanguard in agricultural production and new rural development in Quang Binh province in particular and the nation in general.
November 22, 1959 was an unforgettable day for local villagers as three small cooperatives merged into Dai Phong cooperative. It was a new model of advanced agricultural production in the north. 50 years later, Pham Ngoc Dinh, former Head of Dai Phong cooperative, now 86 years old, still remember vividly the atmosphere of urgency in his home village at that time. Dai Phong villagers at all ages voluntarily got involved in cultivating land and irrigation works and making a dam to avoid salinity. Dai Phong cooperative members went tens of km to Le Thuy district to cultivate land to grow sugar cane and tend buffaloes and cows. After two years, the average food productivity increased from 650 kg to 880kg per person. The Dai Phong cooperative’s production emulation campaign helped the villagers escape poverty and it could provide rice to other northern provinces. Pham Ngoc Dinh recalls: “We encouraged one person to work as two. We even worked at night. All people, young and old, women, and even 80-year-old men were eager to work. During the anti-American war, young people got involved in production and fighting.”
Dai Phong’s model was applied to many localities. President Ho Chi Minh wrote an article in praise of Dai Phong on the People’s daily newspaper on April 15, 1961: “Since Nguyen Chi Thanh, Head of the Central Agricultural Department, acknowledged Dai Phong’s advantages, nearly 1,000 cooperatives in the north pledge “to study, catch up with, and surpass Dai Phong”. This is a strong movement which shows an enthusiastic spirit and abundant capacity of Vietnamese farmers.”
In 1961, Dai Phong honorably received the DT-54 tractor from President Ho Chi Minh. It was a gift from the Soviet Union’s Young Communist Department for President Ho Chi Minh. Dinh said the villagers were grateful for the President’s gift as the tractor reduced manual labor significantly. “The cooperative received a certificate and a tractor which made the people happy. The farmers emulated with each other in production.” Dinh said.
With the motto “one hand holds a plough, the other hand holds a gun” to ensure rice and soldiers for the front, Dai Phong villagers worked day and night. At the beginning of the renewal process, many cooperatives worked less effectively or had to dissolve, but Dai Phong maintained its pace. At present, the cooperative takes the lead in rice productivity in Quang Binh province. Nguyen Van Hoang, the cooperative’s head, says the cooperative has made decisive breakthroughs in many procedures and production must associate with farmers’ interest. “An agricultural cooperative can exist if it upholds its totally agricultural structure, but it’s difficult to develop. The most important tasks are generating capital and good management of its resources particularly tools and fertilizer.”
In Dai Phong now, people often talk about removing fences and donating land for building roads and public works. The Dai Phong cooperative spent VND25bln from its social welfare fund to upgrade dykes and canals, expand inter-village roads and build communal houses, schools and other public works. Nguyen Cao Coi is Chairman of Phong Thuy commune’s People’s Committee. “The commune has two cooperatives which operate effectively. Phong Thuy is the first commune in the province with two villages that met the provincial requirements of cultural villages.”