HA NOI — President Truong Tan Sang has affirmed that the nation's New Model for the Countryside was among the Party's major policies to create fundamental changes in rural development and narrow the gap between urban and rural areas.
|Quang Tri Irrigation and Hydro-electric Power Plant on the Rao Quan River in the central province of Quang Tri. The New Model for the Countryside will create fundamental changes to the way rural parts are developed. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
He was speaking at a conference held yesterday to review new rural construction activities in the 2009-10 period.
After three years of implementation, 11 communes in the pilot phase of the programme were already showing positive results, according to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat.
About 80 per cent of rural roads had been upgraded and 60 per cent of small alleys had been paved. More than 100 irrigation works received upgrades. Most households had access to electricity for agricultural production and their incomes increased by up to 60 per cent.
Total investment for activities in the 11 pilot communes was estimated to be VND2.5 trillion (US$120 million), of which 31 per cent was funded by the State budget. The remainder was contributed locally.
Phat said many communes had formed a practical model for new rural areas although some shortcomings remained: infrastructure development was incomplete, agricultural production proved to be small scale and people still faced financial difficulties.
In his conference address, President Sang said the programme had basically achieved the nation's goals. Nine out of the 11 pilot communes had met nine out of 19 criteria for new countryside.
The current model was unsustainable, he said, and stressed that the role of local people should be further promoted in the future.
President Sang noted that some criteria should be re-examined and adjusted to make them suitable for localities and information about the programme should be enhanced to help locals understand that it was a comprehensive economic development programme, not an investment in infrastructure.
The President asked the provincial Party Committees to continue to improve and complete the model.
At the meeting, 10 collectives and 14 individuals were presented with certificates of merit from the Prime Minister for their excellency in contributing to the programme. — VNS