HA NOI (VNS) — Farmers in new rural areas lack support, warn local and international experts.
Nearly half of households in these areas, where the average household income is only VND60,000 ($2.8) per day, said they were "not satisfied."
"Many localities have focused on building roads, cultural houses and medical clinics but paid little attention to helping farmers improve their lives," said Vice Chairman of the Viet Nam Farmers' Union Lai Xuan Mon.
Farmers in these areas have to pay for local infrastructure construction out of their own pockets, which constitutes a significant financial burden, Mon said.
PhD Vo Tong Xuan of the Australia Academy of Science and Technology said that many farmers didn't know about new technology, consumption patterns or income management, so their agricultural products were substandard and could not compete.
If farmers were trained in proper production methods, they could obtain global and national Good Agricultural Practices certification, which would bring them higher profits.
While a national programme on new rural construction has been in place for three years, it has done little to boost productivity. The annual turnover of agricultural production remains only VND50 million (US$2,350) per hectare, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The VND100 trillion ($4.7 billion) programme was implemented in more than 9,000 communes, 0.7 per cent of which are recognised new rural areas. — VNS