|An Cu Ward in the southern province of Phu Yen has maintained and developed its traditional sleeping-mat weaving trade to create jobs for locals, following criteria on building new-style rural areas. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS) — Infrastructure development was the outstanding achievement of the national new-style rural development programme, according to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat.
Up to 75 per cent of rural area budgets and a majority of financial contributions by the public have gone into infrastructure projects under the programme, Minister Phat said at a review of the last five years of the programme in Ha Noi yesterday.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung were in attendance to hear about the progress of transitioning Viet Nam's rural areas into more developed rural communities.
Most of the participating localities devised their own unique commodity production development plans, the minister said, highlighting that 22,500 agro-forestry-fishery production models are now active across the country.
Rural localities around Ha Noi, Ha Nam, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa successfully redesigned their transport and irrigation systems to pave the way for further mechanisation of farm work.
The provinces of Thai Binh, Ha Tinh, An Giang, Hau Giang and Dong Thap raised the rate of farm mechanisation from 40-50 per cent to 80-90 per cent thanks to policies that supported the purchase of ploughing, mowing and drying machines.
About 2,500 large-scale field models were set up in 43 provinces, covering 556,000 hectares, and many production chain models were formed in husbandry, aquaculture and forestry industries.
Much of this development contributed to the 56.5 per cent of communes that were able to reach the programme's income targets and 85.5 per cent that met employment targets.
Despite the fact that nearly 1.300 communes (14.5 per cent) and 11 districts nationwide are recognised as new-style rural areas to date, Minister Phat admitted the programme failed to achieve its target. According to Resolution 7 of the Party Central Committee, 20 per cent of communes were supposed to be recognised as meeting the standards by 2015.
Phat said there was a big gap between the outcomes of localities and regions, citing the 34 per cent and 23.5 per cent of new-style areas recorded in the Southeastern and Red River Delta regions. In the northern mountainous and the Central Highlands localities the rates are closer to just 7 per cent.
He said production development, agricultural restructuring, building cultural life in residential areas and environmental protection had not received due attention.
For the new 2015-2020 targets, half of the communes nationwide are expected to meet all the requirements, and each province and centrally-run city should have at least one district recognised as new-style rural area. No communes should fulfill fewer than five criteria in the next period.
To meet the targets, the minister stressed the need to increase communication work among officials and locals. He said production development and agricultural restructuring should accelerate, and scientific-technological advances and vocational training further applied.
Speaking at the conference, NA Chairman Hung said that the results affirmed the rightness of a major Party and State policy.
"The movement to build a new countryside is a profound revolutionary movement to mobilize the participation of the entire population. The ultimate goal is to build a new life and to give better care and benefits to farmers," Hung said.
Addressing the conference, PM Dung praised the achievements but also stressed the limitations of the programme such as disparities between the criteria of different regions and moderate awareness of the programme's importance.
The PM reiterated the new goal of recognising half of the country's communes as meeting new rural standards. He said local authorities and all Party committees should make this as a major political task. — VNS