HCM CITY — The National Agriculture Extension Centre this year has set a goal of sustainable production, with the aim of helping the agricultural sector to improve efficiency, competitive ability and farmers' incomes.
The centre's director, Phan Huy Thong, said new policies would help reduce hunger and poverty as well as encourage farmers to use hi-tech production and processing methods for the commercial sector.
"Extension projects will be integrated into Government programmes, including those aimed at production restructuring, investment restructuring and product restructuring," he said. "This will improve quality, added value, increase farmer incomes, and ensure sustainable agriculture development."
Another important task will be to thoroughly evaluate the economic effect of extension programmes and projects to ensure that they meet the needs of localities and farmers.
Over the next few years, the centre will make efforts to reform agricultural extension by offering professional training for extension workers and launch performance models for farmers to replicate.
It will also strengthen cooperation between extension centres and research institutions, training organisations, enterprises and agencies, as well as international agricultural extension organisations.
Priorities will be given to creating agricultural models in major commercial production areas, locations near urban areas, and sites with a high density of ethnic minorities.
In the 13 years since it was established, the agricultural extension system operates in all 63 provinces and cities down to the hamlet level, and employs more than 36,000 people.
Between 2007 and 2009, the centre co-operated with more than 200 agencies involved in agricultural research and training and with others to set up more than 7,000 advanced production models and provide technology and training to 5,000 of its workers, and nearly 1 million farmers.— VNS