The One Commune One Product (OCOP) programme has helped encourage active labour among farmers, increasing production and creating high-quality products. In response to the programme, farmers in Phu Cuong commune, Tan Lac district, are working on their local sweet potato branding and forming a concentrated production area for better income and economic development.

 Sang Tho, from Phu Cuong’s Vo hamlet, harvests sweet potato.

Capitalising on its available idle and sandy soil, suitable for sweet potato cultivation, Phu Cuong has been making efforts to form a concentrated production area for the plant.

Vo hamlet is home to 140 households with over 700 residents, and nearly all of them have areas for sweet potato farming. Notably, Sang Tho's household is currently growing over 3,000m2 of the plant. Tho said this year, sweet potato has thrived as there are fewer pest and disease issues. Phu Cuong sweet potato is an indigenous variety with a distinctive sweet and aromatic flavour. Its cultivation is relatively simple; with proper care, a yield of about 3 - 5 tonnes per hectare can be achieved.

Bui Van Thanh's household, meanwhile, has a relatively large plantation area of over 4,000m2. Their sweet potato is purchased by traders from various locations. Thanh said the price of sweet potato is relatively stable compared to other farm produce. However, the current capital is still limited, and there is no capacity for investment in the diversification of production and processing. Therefore, only raw products are available, resulting in lower selling prices.

"With a good harvest, the sweet potato garden has generated over 90 million VND (3,722 USD) for my family since the beginning of this year,” Thanh said.

The sweet potato of Phu Cuong have been registered for the OCOP programme, with the commune aiming at quality improvement, OCOP branding, favourable conditions for product consumption, and supply chain formation serving better productivity and income. To this end, it is actively forming cooperatives and cooperative groups for sweet potato cultivation, creating a brand for the root, and supporting participating households in production, disease prevention, and e-commercial application.

Bui Duc Phuong, Chairman of the People's Committee of Phu Cuong Commune, said sweet potato is an important agricultural product of the locality, attracting many traders from in and outside the province. In the coming time, Phu Cuong will focus on regional planning for standardised production to process sweet potato into a high-quality OCOP product, supplying the domestic market and opening up possibilities for export.

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